Slain Pastor’s Wife Mary Winkler Released From Jail on Bond

SELMER, Tenn. — A minister’s wife accused of killing her husband got out of jail Tuesday on $750,000 bond.

Mary Winkler, 32, is charged with killing Matthew Winkler with a blast from a 12-gauge shotgun as he lay in bed at the parsonage in Selmer, about 80 miles east of Memphis, Tennessee.

She has been behind bars on a charge of first-degree murder since March 23, the day after his death, awaiting trial in late October.

Winkler, dressed in a striped blouse and black skirt, walked out of the jail between two of her defense attorneys.

Winkler kept her head down and did not look at reporters and photographers waiting for her outside the jail. She refused to respond to questions.

Attorneys Steve Farese and Leslie Ballin walked Winkler to a car and her father, Clark Freeman of Knoxville, drove her away from the jail.

Defense attorneys tried to get Winkler out of jail last week, but the judge delayed her release to investigate reported problems with the bonding company.

As part of her bond, Winkler is required to live with friends in McMinnville, 65 miles southeast of Nashville, where she will work at a dry cleaners and be supervised by the state probation office.

Farese said Winkler is eager to see her three young daughters, who are with their paternal grandparents, but no arrangements have been made for visits.

“She has to get used to the outside world again,” Farese said.

“Her emotional state is fragile. Certainly she’s apprehensive,” Farese said.

In a statement to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Winkler said she shot her husband after a night of arguing over finances and other family problems.

Defense lawyers have implied Mary Winkler was emotionally abused by her husband.

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Fox News, USA
Aug. 15, 2006

Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday August 15, 2006.
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