Winkler trial takes toll on small TN town

It was easy to tell it wasn't business as usual at the McNairy County courthouse Monday morning.

What with the satellite trucks, taped off areas and a parking lot reserved for more than one hundred potential jurors in the Mary Winkler trial.

" I'm living in a motel like many of you are for the next few weeks," says Sue Allison.

Allison is handling most of the arrangements for the Winkler trial. That includes making sure potential jurors know where to go and handling media.

Allison adds, "it has become, in my world almost a full time job including weekends and nights."

The trial and the attention it's drawing are taking a toll on all court employees.

A sign at the courthouse directs those with non Winkler related business to come to the old courthouse in downtown Selmer.

"I don't think it is delaying justice, it has just moved it," says Allison.

"Moving court proceedings helps reduce the need for security at the Winkler trial and those who just need to pay a speeding ticket or see a judge don't need to hassle with parking and the other issues the trial presents.

The judge in this case is said to be working closely with attorneys and the media to make sure the trial is fair but is also an open book to those who are watching.

"I don't think you're gonna see in a Tennessee courtroom some of the things you've seen in Florida and some other places. I think it'll show what a good court system we have," says Allison.

Those familiar with the case say it is the biggest this town has seen and may ever see and they're as ready as they can be.

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