Archive for Saturday, March 25, 2006

Minister’s wife charged with murdering husband

March 25, 2006

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— A minister's wife was charged Friday with shooting her husband to death in the parsonage in a crime that shocked the congregation and shattered the couple's happy and loving image.

Mary Winkler, 32, was arrested on murder charges and confessed to the slaying after fleeing to Alabama in the family's minivan with the couple's three young daughters, authorities said.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent John Mehr said authorities know the motive for the killing, but he would not disclose it.

When asked whether police believed the motive was infidelity, Mehr said no. But he would not comment when asked whether Mary Winkler had accused her husband of abuse. Court papers offered no hint of a motive.

Her husband of 10 years, Matthew Winkler, a popular and charismatic 31-year-old preacher at a fundamentalist Christian church, was found dead in a bedroom at the couple's home Wednesday night.

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