Michael Fletcher: A Simple Case of Murder
Coversations with the Family
From his conversations with Leann's mother and sisters, Cleyman had discovered that Mick's personality had changed shortly after he passed the bar exam.
"He thought he was better than her," Leann's mother said. "Like he was a big attorney or something and she was just a nail technician."
Gloria Meisner, Leann's mother, had little good to say about her son-in-law.
"He cheated on her," she said. "He cheated, but she was blind to it. Leann was determined to make the marriage work, for the sake of Hannah."
Gloria told Cleyman that Fletcher had once listed his wife's occupation as "consultant" on a loan application.
"Leann asked me 'why would he do that, Momma?'" Gloria wiped away a tear. "I told her, 'it's because he's ashamed of you, honey.'"
Fletcher had filed for divorce in January 1999 after the couple had separated yet again. He was furious, Gloria said, when Leann hired an attorney of her own.
"He wanted her to trust him," she said. "He said he would be fair. All she wanted was the house and child support. And some of that settlement."
"What settlement is that, Mrs. Meisner?"
"He was gonna get this big settlement from some malpractice suit he took on," she said. "I mean, it's only fair that Leann get something from that. She was the one with the money to make the down payment on the house and she was the one who worked to put him through law school. "
When Gloria mentioned the word "settlement," the hair on Cleyman's neck stood up. "Love of money is the root of all evil," he thought to himself.
Cleyman then spoke to Leann's divorce attorney.
"He filed in St. Clair County," said Gerald Gordinier. "She was surprised, because they live in Oakland County. He said he didn't want the people he worked with to know."
Gordinier told Cleyman that Leann was realistic about her chances in saving the marriage, but she was more concerned about her daughter and being able to provide for her. But then Mick changed his mind.
"We asked him to send a true copy of the dismissal she signed, after he filed it, but he never did," the lawyer said. "You know, something is going to bother me for a long, long time."
"Oh? What is it?"
"She called my office last Thursday," Gordinier said. "I was out and never got a chance to return the call. Now I'll never know why she called."