Mechele Linehan's attorney argued in court Friday that Linehan needs knee surgery to prevent a degenerative condition, and said it should be done in Olympia, Washington where she has a family support system. That's where Linehan wants to spend her time before her second trial, scheduled for April.
“Either she would put off having the surgery and continue to injure herself which would be unfair, or my primary concern is that she not be in pain during our trial,” said Defense attorney Cynthia Strout.
The State argues this is an elective surgery and that it does not change circumstances for bail.
Prosecutor Paul Miovas added that it's not an emergency that warrants leaving the state. “It's very clear that just yesterday Ms. Linehan went on a bike ride that had to be more than 20 miles,” said Miovas.
“The fact that she can still do some things like ride her bike doesn’t mean that she’s not in pain from other activities that require more pressure on that joint,” argued Strout.
The Prosecution said that there is no urgent need to hold the surgery out of state, and that it could be performed in Alaska.
Judge Michael Spaan denied the bail application in substance, but a hearing on evidence of the medical issue is scheduled for September. In the meantime, Linehan will have to stay in Alaska.
Judge Phillip Volland had recused himself on making a decision on the medical issue because he had similar knee surgery that Linehan is requesting. Judge Volland will hear evidence on everything other than the medical issue at the end of August.
Linehan's 2007 conviction was overturned last February after the court of appeals ruled that she did not get a fair trial.