Attorney for Mary Winkler questions use of trust fund - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

Attorney for Mary Winkler questions use of trust fund

Dan (second from left) and Diane Winkler (third from left) Dan (second from left) and Diane Winkler (third from left)
Mary Winkler Mary Winkler

Convicted killer Mary Winkler was back in court Friday fighting for custody of her three children.

Winkler was convicted of voluntary manslaughter last April in the shooting death of her husband, Church of Christ minister Matthew Winkler, at their residence in Selmer in March 2006.

She was sentenced to three years in prison but is free on probation. Winkler is fighting for custody of the couple's three young daughters from his parents, Dan and Diane Winkler of Huntingdon.

Wearing stylish clothes and jewelry, Winkler's appearance was a stark contrast from what the public grew accustomed to during her murder trial.

Winkler's attorney's spent the morning attempting to find out how money in a trust fund set up for Mary Winkler's three daughters is being spent. A friend of Matthew Winkler's family set up the fund just days after Mary shot and killed her husband.

"It seems like a fishing expedition," attorney for Trustee Daniel Hull said. "They want to look at the trust fund to see what they can find."

WInkler's attorneys fear money in the fund is being spent improperly by Matthew's parents.

"What if the funds are being spent to defeat Mary," attorney Kay Turner asked. "Is that in the best interests of the children?"

The judge ordered the attorney for the trustee to turn over financial records about the trust fund within 14 days.

None of the parties involved in the hearing would comment on camera when it was over. Much of the hearing was closed to the media as both sides discussed adoption issues.

Winkler currently has regular visits with her daughters, who remain in the custody of Matthew's parents.

Mary Winkler claimed during her murder trial that she was abused emotionally and sexually by her husband.

He was shot in the back as he slept.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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