ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Did Mechele Linehan model the murder of Kent Leppink after a movie called "The Last Seduction"?
Prosecutors on Thursday said she did, and they want the jury to watch the movie about a woman who tried to manipulate her lover into killing her husband for nearly
Lora Aspiotis danced at the Great Alaskan Bush Company at the same time Linehan was there in the 1990s. She told the jury that after she and Linehan saw the film, Linehan declared she wanted to be just like the seductress.
Did Linehan act out the plot in her own life? Or did she just make an off-the-cuff remark about a popular thriller?
"It's a real life way of getting the idea for this crime," prosecutor Pat Gullufsen argued to Superior Court Judge Philip Volland in his appeal to allow the jury to see the movie.
Linehan wants the ending of the film to match the ending of this trial, as well, Gullufsen said. "The ending, in her plan, is the boyfriend is the one convicted and she walks free."
Volland said he wants to watch "The Last Seduction" before deciding whether the jury will see it.
Linehan, who is married and lives in Olympia, and former boyfriend John Carlin III were charged last year with the 1996 murder of her fiance, Leppink. Carlin was convicted of first-
degree murder in April. Linehan faces the same charge in her trial, which began last week.
Today, Aspiotis is a 43-year-old full-time mother in South Carolina.
She said her friendship with Linehan, now 34, began when they often worked the same shifts at the strip club in 1995. There was something about Linehan that men were drawn to, Aspiotis said. She didn't have to dance like the other women to earn big tips; men would pay just to talk to her.
Among her top customers were Carlin and Leppink, also known as "T.T."
Aspiotis told the jury that after Linehan was engaged to Leppink, she treated him badly. She made him run errands, pay for meals he didn't eat at restaurants and mocked him in front of others.
Leppink and Linehan were houseguests at Carlin's South Anchorage home when Leppink was found shot to death near Hope in May 1996.
Defense attorney Kevin Fitzgerald asked Aspiotis if she knew whether Leppink was paying rent to stay at Carlin's home. She said she didn't.
Did he contribute to the household in other ways, running errands, for example, Fitzgerald asked, suggesting that Leppink's errands for Linehan and the money he spent while living at the house were his own idea. The attorney said Leppink had performed similar chores when living with another couple earlier.
When cross-examining Aspiotis about the 1994 movie, "The Last Seduction," Fitzgerald asked whether Aspiotis also had seen other movies with Linehan starring the actress Linda Fiorentino. Didn't Linehan like the actress, not the character she played in the film?
Aspiotis said she couldn't remember.
Aspiotis said she ended her friendship with Linehan about two months before Leppink was murdered.