Winkler trial set to begin after year of planning - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Winkler trial set to begin after year of planning

They seemed to have the perfect life.

Mary and Matthew Winkler had been married for ten years and had three daughters.  Matthew was the charismatic preacher at the Fourth Street Church of Christ in the small town of Selmer.  Friends described her as quiet, soft spoken and friendly.

But just over a year ago something happened.  Mary Winkler told authorities she snapped.
 
Investigators say Mary told them she shot Matthew in the back with his own 12-gauge shotgun in the couple's bedroom. 

She told them then he rolled off the bed onto the floor and asked, "Why?"
  
The shocked community of Selmer also wanted to know why.

Some members of Mary's family said she was physically and mentally abused by Matthew.  Her attorneys, the dream team of Leslie Ballin and Steve Farese, representing her at no charge, also say she was abused. 

Mary said Matthew frequently criticized her for the way she walked and ate, and the couple had been arguing the day of the shooting.
  
Mary told investigators they argued about a lot of things including money.  She had recently shifted money from two bank accounts, and transferred more than $17,000 from family bank accounts to sources in Canada and Nigeria, the victim of an apparent financial scam.

After being held for months, Mary Winkler got out of jail in August on a $750,000 bond.  She has worked at a dry cleaners in McMinnville since then.

Now, the quiet preacher's wife will go on trial for first degree murder.

Count on Action News 5 for complete coverage of Mary Winkler's trial.  We will have multiple crews covering the trial live in Selmer, and will stream the court proceedings live here on WMCTV.com.

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