Mary Winkler, Abused Wife Who Killed Preacher Husband Speaks Out

A woman convicted of shooting and killing her husband after allegedly suffering years of abuse wants women to know they can get help without resorting to violence.

Women are sometimes “hesitant to speak out and ask for help,” Mary Winkler told NBC’s “Today” show this morning. But, she said, “someone will believe you.”

Winkler, who was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for the March 2006 killing of her preacher husband, Matthew Winkler, served less than a year behind bars. Just two years later, in 2008, she regained full custody of her three daughters. But the Tennessee woman said justice was served.

“I felt like it was a very fair verdict,” she said. That’s because Winkler, 36, says her husband raped and abused her for years before she finally snapped and shot him in the back while he slept.


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This post was last updated: Nov. 5, 2010