Linehan, 33, is in Anchorage, facing trial in the 1996 killing of Kent Leppink, a former fiance.
Meanwhile, friends and relatives of Linehan said she is not the gold digger prosecutors make her out to be.
Another former fiance of Linehan's, John Carlin III, was convicted of first-degree murder this spring in the case. Prosecutors say Linehan was a gold digger who got Carlin to do her dirty work.
But those who know Linehan say that's not her style.
"She married a very poor medical student," longtime friend Ann Gassga said. "If she was out for the money, he was not a catch."
She cared about poverty and injustice, her friends say.
"Her big thing is she doesn't like to see people taken advantage of," Gassga said.
After Leppink's body was found, troopers questioned Carlin and former exotic dancer Linehan, who lived with him at the time, but no charges were filed. A month later, Linehan left Alaska.
Prosecutors say Linehan ran away. Her family said she wanted a fresh start.
"She wanted to go forward with school ... She wanted to get on with her life. New Orleans was home," said Katie Linehan, Mechele's sister-in-law.
Linehan enrolled at Loyola University to study veterinary medicine while volunteering at a New Orleans zoo, said Gassga, who met Linehan at college that year.
While taking classes at Loyola, Mechele met Colin Linehan, a medical student in his last year at Tulane University. He wanted to be a family doctor.
They were a good match, said Mechele's mother, Sandy McWilliams. "He's the calm one. And she gets excited easily."
Colin, an ROTC cadet, was so poor he couldn't afford a car, Gassga said. He moved in with Mechele, and she helped support him.
They married in the spring of 1998, a week after he graduated. Mechele paid for her own engagement ring, Gassga said. She also paid for the wedding.
When the couple moved to Maryland for Colin's residency, Mechele gave up her dream of being a veterinarian, but she still worked on her undergraduate degree. She also taught Sunday school at a Catholic church.
In 2001, they moved to Olympia. Colin, still in the Army, was assigned to Madigan Army Medical Center. When he deployed to Iraq, Mechele finished her master's degree at The Evergreen State College and interned on the Washington State Executive Ethics Board.
She did 12-hour Friday night shifts at a local crisis center, counseling suicide and rape victims.
"She has a joie de vivre like no one I have ever met," friend Kristina Hermach said of Linehan. It sometimes threatens women, but when they get to know her, that usually changes, she added.
Allegations of extra-marital affairs came up in Carlin's trial. Scott Hilke, the third fiance from the Alaska years, testified he had several liaisons with Linehan in recent years. Prosecutors claim Linehan also had an affair with a doctor friend of the family while her husband was in Iraq.
After her arrest last fall, Mechele and Colin Linehan re-mortgaged their house and paid $150,000 cash bail. They have piled up debt by hiring top private defense lawyers in Alaska and Washington.
Olympian reporter Jeremy Pawloski contributed to this story.