Shot Dead Over Family Finances

Mary Winkler, the minister’s wife charged with murdering her husband on March 22, 2006, told police she shot him after they argued over family finances and then told him “I’m sorry” as he lay dying in their bedroom, according to testimony at a bond hearing Friday.


In court Friday, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Agent Brian Booth read a statement Mary Winkler gave authorities in Alabama, where she was arrested a day after her husband’s body was found by church members.

Booth testified that Winkler told police she knew her husband kept a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun in the closet of the home where they lived with their three daughters. She said she didn’t remember getting the gun.

“The next thing I remember was hearing a loud boom. I remember thinking it wasn’t as loud as I thought it would be,” Booth said, reading from Winkler’s statement.

She told police her husband rolled from the bed onto the floor after being shot.

“He asked me why, and I just said `I’m sorry,'” Booth read from the statement.

Winkler said the two had argued throughout the evening about several things, including family finances. The problems were “mostly my fault,” she said, because she was in charge of keeping the family books.

“He had really been on me lately criticizing me for things — the way I walk, I eat, everything. It was just building up to a point. I was tired of it. I guess I got to a point and snapped,” Booth read to the court.

She guesses? Granted, I wasn’t standing in the police station when she was giving this statement, but that last little bit about being criticized by her husband Matthew sounds a little emotionless to me. And I’m sorry, but I’m really having a hard time believing the whole “I don’t remember getting the gun” jazz. A rather lame defense.

Winkler, who entered a plea of ‘Not Guilty’ on June 21st, is hoping the judge in the case will set a reasonable bond. The prosecution is basically saying, ‘over our dead body’ (no pun intended -ed.) on the bond issue. Church members are due to testify next. Bottom line – no one expects Mary Winkler to get out of jail, either before or after her trial.

Previously: | Winkler: Opening Up | Winkler Attorneys Waive Fees | The Innocent Victims | Winkler Family Fund | Possible Winkler Defense? | Mary Winkler: “Overwhelmed and Confused” | Winkler Vs. the State of Tennessee | She Did It |

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