The Trial of Mary Winkler

Background and Latest Developments

Mary Winkler
Mary Winkler. Mug shot

Mary Winkler, 32, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for the shotgun shooting death of her husband, Matthew Winkler, in 2006 at their Fourth Street Church of Christ parsonage in Selmer, Tennessee. She was arrested the following day in Alabama, where she had taken the couple's three young daughters.

Latest Developments

Mary Winkler Wants Daughters Back
Sept. 11, 2007
A Tennessee woman who served only 67 days after she was convicted of shooting her minister husband is now petitioning the court to get her children back. The three daughters of Mary Winkler have been in the custody of her in-laws since she was arrested in March 2006.

Previous Developments

Mary Winkler Freed After 67 Days
Aug. 14, 2007
Mary Winkler has been freed from custody after serving only 67 days, most of which were spent in a mental health facility. She was released after undergoing about two months of treatment.

Mary Winkler Sentenced to 210 Days
June 8, 2007
A Tennessee judge sentenced Mary Winkler to 210 days incarceration for her voluntary manslaughter conviction. Winkler will get credit for time she served in jail before she made bond, leaving only 60 days that she will actually be incarcerated.

Convicted Pastor's Wife Seeks New Trial
June 7, 2007
Mary Winkler, the minister's wife convicted of manslaughter for his death, is seeking a new trial before she has even been sentenced following her first trial. Defense attorneys filed motions last week seeking a new trial based on several rulings the judge made during her trial regarding testimony the jury was allowed to hear.

Mary Winkler Guilty of Lesser Charge
April 19, 2007
A jury of ten women and two men found Mary Winkler guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the shotgun shooting death of her husband. Under state law, a conviction of voluntary manslaughter carries a sentence of three to six years, with parole possible after serving 30 percent of the sentence.

Mary Winkler Says Shooting Was Accidental
April 19, 2007
Mary Winkler told the jury of a man much different from her husband's small-town preacher's public image and said the shotgun accidentally "went boom" as she pointed it at him as he had done to her in the past.

Mary Winkler: 'My Ugly Came Out'
April 14, 2007
Jurors in the murder trial of Mary Winkler got a glimpse of what may have driven her to shoot her minister husband. According to the defense, Winkler pointed the gun at Matthew Winkler, as he had pointed it at her before, to get him to talk about their problems.

Jury Selection Begins for Minister's Wife
April 9, 2007
Jury selection is scheduled to begin today in the murder trial of Mary Winkler. The trial could bring answers to the small Tennessee town of Selmer, where residents wonder what caused a quiet, demure preacher's wife to kill.

Trial Set April 9 for Pastor's Wife
Feb. 23, 2007
The trial of Mary Winkler has been scheduled for April 9, a date agreed upon both prosecutors and defense attorneys. "I think everyone is ready to get this tried," said Winkler's defense attorney, Steve Farese Sr.

Slain Minister's Wife Out on Bail
Aug. 15, 2006
Mary Winkler was released from jail on $750,000 bond. Her release was delayed for more than a week while the judge assessed the terms of her release and checked the reliability of the bonding company that posted her bail.

Wife Killed Minister After Money Argument
June 6, 2006
A Tennessee minister's wife told police that she shot him after they argued about finances then told him "I'm sorry" as he lay dying in the bedroom of their home, according to testimony at a hearing requesting bond for her release from jail.

Minister's Wife Indicted for Murder
June 12, 2006
A substitute elementary school teacher and the wife of a minister who was found shot to death in the church parsonage has been indicted for first-degree murder, meaning that authorities believe that she planned to kill Matthew Winkler, 31.

Pastor's Wife Charged with First-Degree Murder
March 24, 2006
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has issued an arrest warrant on first-degree murder charges for Mary Winkler, the wife of Selmer, Tennessee pastor Matthew Winkler.

Tennessee Pastor Slain, Family Missing
March 22, 2006
A Tennessee church pastor was found shot to death after he failed to show up for Wednesday night services and a statewide Amber Alert has been issued for his missing wife and three young daughters.