Day 4: Preacher’s wife still in jail

Lawyer: ‘Every day is a new day. It’s like “Groundhog Day” ‘

SELMER, Tennessee (AP) — A minister’s wife charged with his shotgun slaying remained behind bars Monday because of a judge’s questions about her bail bondsmen, attorneys said.

“Hopefully tomorrow, the fifth time will be the charm,” attorney Steve Farese Jr. told reporters gathered outside the McNairy County Justice Center.

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“Every day is a new day,” he added. “It’s like ‘Groundhog Day.’ “

Mary Winkler, 32, is charged with killing Matthew Winkler with a single blast from a 12-gauge shotgun as he lay in bed at the Church of Christ parsonage. The shooting allegedly followed an argument over strained family finances.

Winkler, who has been behind bars since March 23, is set to stand trial in late October.

Farese said Friday that Judge Weber McCraw had approved the details of a $750,000 bond arranged by the family through Williams Bail Bond of Alamo, Tennessee. But shortly after 5 p.m., McCraw was informed by a judge in another county that Williams Bail Bond had been suspended over a 1999 incident, Farese said.

Leslie Ballin, another defense attorney, said Monday that the judge is continuing to review the bail bonding company.

The attorneys were told to return to court early Tuesday when, they said, they expect Winkler finally will be released.

In Tennessee, murder defendants are entitled to bail as long as they are not charged with a capital offense. Prosecutors have not said whether they intend to pursue a capital case against Winkler, which carries the death penalty, or a life prison sentence.

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AP, via CNN, USA
Aug. 14, 2006

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