Cape County assistant prosecutor dies after two-year fight with cancer

Thursday, December 27, 2007

An aggressive form of the illness forced him to take an extended sick leave last year.

Cape Girardeau County Assistant Prosecutor Michael S. Linsenmeyer, 33, formerly of St. Charles, Mo., died Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer.

Linsenmeyer was highly respected by the entire criminal justice community, said prosecuting attorney Morley Swingle, including crime victims for which he helped win justice.

"Mike made many friends in Cape Girardeau during his time here," Swingle said.

A graduate of Georgetown University, Linsenmeyer went on to the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law.

There, he wrote for the Missouri Law Review, served as a law clerk for Missouri Supreme Court Judge Michael Wolff and worked as a teacher's assistant for the criminal litigation and professional responsibility classes, all while staying in the top 10 percent of his law school class.

Swingle said Linsenmeyer was probably the smartest person ever to work at his office.

"He will be sorely missed," Swingle said.

Linsenmeyer started working for Swingle's office as a law clerk in August 2005, and was promoted to assistant prosecuting attorney less than two months later.

During his first year in the position, Linsenmeyer tried 55 bench trials and three jury trials.

In addition to handling an impressive caseload at the prosecutor's office under Swingle, his mentor, Linsenmeyer was an avid traveler, having once climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, according to the obituary.

He dreamed of one day operating an organic farm, and friends and family described him as a "gifted matchmaker, unrivalled cook of paella, and an extraordinarily kind uncle."

In July 2006, an aggressive form of cancer forced Linsenmeyer to take an extended sick leave from the prosecutor's office.

His co-workers donated their own sick time to him so he could undergo medical treatment for his illness.

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