Revealing Testimony In The Mary Winkler Trial

Two very different portraits were painted in a Selmer courtroom Thursday of the woman accused of murdering her minister husband.

The prosecution told the jury that Mary Winkler planned to kill her minister husband Matthew. The defense said Matthew pushed Mary to the limit to be the model church family.

A stern looking Mary Winkler bit her lip throughout the day as she listened to attorneys recount her life story.

It was the first day of testimony in the murder trial.

Winkler’s attorney Steve Farese painted Matthew as a demanding husband who picked on everything Mary did.

Farese said, “He didn’t like the way she talked. He didn’t like the way she walked. He didn’t like it because she was too fat. He would tell her she couldn’t eat lunch because she was too fat. She wasn’t perfect and she had to be perfect to be a preacher’s wife and not only did she have to be perfect, her children had to be perfect.”

One of the first people to take the stand was Matthew Winkler’s father.

Charles Dan Winkler told jurors that his son was on medication at the time he was killed.

Dan Winkler also told the jury he had met with Mary to forgive her.

Winkler said, “I said I am so sorry for all of this…”
Farese: “Wait a second€¦you said to Mary I’m so sorry for all of this?”
Winkler: “Yes sir.”
Farese: “What was her answer?”
Winkler: “She said nothing.”
Farese: “In what tone did you say to Mary, ‘I’m so sorry for all of this?'”
Winkler: “The way I just said it to you.”

Winkler’s attorney said Mary Winkler planned only to hold Matthew at gunpoint to discuss their finances.

Prosecutors said she intended to kill him.

Mary and Matthew Winkler met as students at Freed-Hardeman University inHenderson, just north of Selmer.

Matthew Winkler served as a youth minister at the McMinnville Church of Christ until February of 2005.

The Winkler’s also attended the Bellevue Church of Christ where Matthew’s father preached.

Testimony will resume Friday morning.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
, WKRN, Apr. 12, 2007,

Religion News Blog posted this on Friday April 13, 2007.
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