Jurors saw it differently when they convicted Linehan, a 35-year-old Olympia resident, of first-degree murder in October.
On Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Philip Volland gave her the maximum sentence despite pleas of leniency from Linehan and her family and friends.
Neighbors who live near Linehans home on Bigelow Avenue Northeast say theres no way the friendly, honest woman they knew could be capable of murder.
Im completely baffled, said Kevin Shamel, who became good friends with Linehan and her husband, Colin, when he moved across the street from them two years ago. I dont understand how it could turn out the way it did.
Another neighbor, Debby Saunders, said she often talked to Linehan working in her yard or walking the dog. She was struck by her neighbors gentle and kind nature.
I still think shes innocent, Saunders said. So does everybody else that knew her.
Linehan was convicted of conspiring with a boyfriend to kill a man in 1996 for a $1 million life insurance payout. The victim, Kent Leppink, had removed Linehan as the beneficiary days before his death.
Leppink was found dead near Hope, Alaska, about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, on May 2, 1996. The fisherman was shot with .44-caliber slugs in the back, abdomen and cheek.
Last year, an Anchorage jury found co-defendant John Carlin III, 50, guilty of first-degree murder in connection with Leppinks shooting death. Carlin was sentenced to 99 years in a separate, earlier trial.
Linehan was a former stripper in Alaska who started a new life upon moving to Olympia and marrying a respected doctor.
Linehan plans to appeal her conviction.
For more on the story, see The Olympian Friday.