Slain pastor's wife convicted of voluntary manslaughter
Attention focused on pressures on ministers' wives
May 15, 2007
In a case that focused national attention on the psychological pressures on wives of ministers, Mary Winkler, the wife of a slain Church of Christ pastor in Tennessee, was convicted April 19 of voluntary manslaughter. Winkler, 33, was charged in last year’s slaying of Matthew Winkler, 31.
After hearing accusations that the pastor abused his wife, jurors in Selmer, Tennessee, spent more than seven hours deliberating. They ultimately rejected the more serious first-degree murder conviction that prosecutors had sought.
Winkler showed no emotion as the verdict was read. She will remain free on bond pending her sentencing May 18.
Church leaders from Fourth Street Church of Christ found Matthew Winkler shot dead in the church parsonage March 22, 2006. Mary Winkler was arrested the next day, after she had fled to Alabama in the family van with her three daughters.