Crime Scene

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Linehan withdraws request to leave state after bail scare

Mechele Linehan today at a bail hearing in Anchorage court. Erik Hill/Anchorage Daily News - More photos from the bail hearingMechele Linehan today at a bail hearing in Anchorage court. Erik Hill/Anchorage Daily News - More photos from the bail hearing

From Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage --

Mechele Linehan today withdrew a request to leave the state for medical treatment after a bail scare that could have sent her back to jail.

Linehan is awaiting retrial for the 1996 killing of Kent Leppink and has been out on bail since May of last year. She’d asked a Superior Court judge for permission to leave Alaska for treatment on her knee. But at a hearing yesterday, Linehan’s lawyer was greeted with a surprise that ultimately torpedoed that request.

Anchorage strip club and hotel owner Terry Stahlman, who had put up his property as collateral for Linehan’s $250,000 bail, wrote a letter saying he “could no longer be responsible” for the bond. The letter is dated Aug. 23.

"From the Desk of Terry M. Stahlman ... To Whom it May Concern. I, Terry M. Stahlman, am the cosigner on bond number IS250K6529, in the amount of $250,000.00 on defendant, Mechele Linehan. As such, I have collateral on deposit with Fred's Bail Bonding as security on the aforementioned bond. Due to personal reasons, I can no longer be responsible for this bond.""From the Desk of Terry M. Stahlman ... To Whom it May Concern. I, Terry M. Stahlman, am the cosigner on bond number IS250K6529, in the amount of $250,000.00 on defendant, Mechele Linehan. As such, I have collateral on deposit with Fred's Bail Bonding as security on the aforementioned bond. Due to personal reasons, I can no longer be responsible for this bond."

As of yesterday, it was unclear if Linehan would have to return to custody. On the back of his letter to Adkerson, Stahlman wrote the bail bondsman a more personal, hand-written note.

Stahlman has "been very sick" over the past year, he wrote, but wanted to give Linehan time to find another way to meet her bail obligations. "I want to give Mrs. Linehan, you, her legions of supporters, friends thirty days to replace me. I don’t want to hurt anybody with this action," Stahlman wrote.

Today, bail bondsman Fred Adkerson said members of Linehan’s family – or her husband’s family – had agreed to cover a portion of the bail by putting money into a trust account.

"They came up with some cash to back it up," he said. Adkerson wouldn't name the amount.

Adkerson had a condition, however. He did not want Linehan to leave the state. “There's plenty of doctors up here,” he said.

Linehan’s lawyer, Cynthia Strout, subsequently withdrew the request for Linehan to go outside Alaska at a brief bail hearing today.

Linehan remains free, under electronic monitoring, as she awaits retrial, according to Adkerson. The trial is scheduled to begin in April, court records say.

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