Wife Murders Kinky Abusive Pastor Husband
SELMER, Tenn. — The wife of a Tennessee preacher told jurors in her murder trial Wednesday that she accidentally shot her husband after experiencing years of sexual, emotional and physical abuse at his hands.
After Mary Winkler shot Matthew Winkler, the defendant testified, her first thought was of her three daughters.
"I thought something terrible had happened, and no one would ever believe it was an accident and I would lose the girls," Winkler testified through sobs in her first-degree murder trial Wednesday.
Winkler, 33, said her reaction was to pack up the children in the family minivan and drive to Alabama coast for their first visit to the beach, "just to be together."
The next day, Winkler was arrested for the murder of her husband, a fifth-generation preacher who found his first pulpit at the Fourth Street Church of Christ in Selmer, Tenn., a year before his
Observers in the rural western Tennessee courtroom dabbed at tears along with the soft-spoken defendant as she described the morning she shot her husband after what she said was nearly 10 years of abuse.
Winkler said she did not remember pointing or firing her husband's 12-gauge shotgun at him shortly after he allegedly tried to silence their crying infant daughter by suffocating her.
She said all she said remembered was catching a whiff of gunpowder before she fled the room and returned to find her husband lying on the floor, bleeding from the nose and mouth.
"I wiped his mouth, but it just kept coming," Winkler tearfully testified, as her husband's relatives remained stoic in the front row.death.
McNairy County prosecutors believe Winkler intentionally shot her husband as he lay in bed on the morning of March 22, 2006, and have questioned the defendant's memory of the events.
A defense psychologist testified Tuesday that Winkler suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, which affected her ability to think clearly the morning she shot her husband.
Winkler's emotional testimony sharply contrasted with her quiet demeanor as she described the sexual acts, emotional abuse and beatings that she claimed her husband subjected her to.
A hushed gasp arose in the courtroom as Winkler showed the jury a tall white platform heel and a black wig that Winkler said her husband made her wear during sex.
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