Psychologist visits Mary Winkler

SELMER – A Jackson psychologist spent about two hours Friday with Mary Carol Winkler at the McNairy County Criminal Justice Center, where she’s being held in the shooting death of her minister husband.

The psychologist showed up about 11 a.m., McNairy County Sheriff Ricky Roten said.

He would not reveal the doctor’s name but said it was Winkler’s only visitor Friday.

Winkler is accused of shooting her 31-year-old husband, Matthew Winkler, in the back and has been charged with first-degree murder. Police have said she confessed and believe she planned the killing.

Meanwhile, people from across the nation have reached out to members of the Fourth Street Church of Christ, where Matthew Winkler had been a minister for about a year. The church has received more than 200 cards from those offering their condolences.


“We’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and expressions of sympathy, not just from the community, but all across the nation,” church secretary Betty Wilkerson said. “It helps to know that others are sharing our loss and are thinking about us and praying for us.”

Matthew Winkler’s funeral was held Tuesday. About 600 people attended, according to Selmer’s Shackelford Funeral Directors, which was in charge of the service.

Monday’s visitation drew 1,200 people, the funeral home said.

The state medical examiner, Dr. Bruce Levy, who did Matthew Winkler’s autopsy, has said on national TV that he died from a single gunshot wound to the back. Levy estimated the shot was fired from two to three feet away.


Matthew Winkler essentially bled to death and did not die immediately, Levy has said.

Mary Winkler’s attorneys arranged for the psychologist to visit her. Co-counselor Steven Farese Sr. could not be reached Friday for further comment about the visit.

Roten said Thursday Mary Winkler was spending her time in jail reading books that have been brought to her by church members.

Many of the cards the church has received have contained checks, Wilkerson said.

She added that church elders said all the money would go to a fund set up for the Winklers’ three girls: Brianna, 1, Mary Alice (Allie), 6, and Patricia, 8.


Cards have arrived from states including Oregon, Kentucky, California, Ohio, South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida, Wilkerson said.

Sunday school students at Middleton Church of Christ sent cards they’d adorned with messages. One message said, “God loves you and so do we.”

On Wednesday, Fourth Street members conducted their second Bible study night without Matthew Winkler. Like last Sunday, a guest preacher filled in.

It was March 22 when members found Matthew Winkler’s body in the bedroom of the church’s parsonage on Mollie Drive after he failed to show up for Bible study. Initially, Mary Winkler and the couple’s three girls were missing.

They were located late the next day in Orange Beach, Ala., where Mary Winkler was arrested. Matthew Winkler’s parents, Dan and Diane Winkler of Huntingdon, have custody of the Winklers’ girls.

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Jackson Sun, USA
Apr. 1, 2006
Tonya Smith-King
www.jacksonsun.com

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