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Domestic Abuse Led Wife Killing Her Preacher Husband

US- On Wednesday she was convicted of manslaughter for three years. Circuit Judge Weber McCraw, who presided over Winkler's murder trial and gave her the option of serving some of her sentence in a mental health facility.

Mary Winkler wife of a Tennessee preacher told the Jurors presiding over her murder trial that she accidentally shot her husband. She had been suffering domestic abuse at his hand for past ten years.

Mary Winkler was transferred to an undisclosed mental health facility, where she will receive treatment for longstanding mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and a mild personality disorder.

Winkler was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in April for shooting Matthew Winkler in the back as he lay in bed in the family parsonage on March 22, 2006.

In her trial, Winkler told the juror that it was the emotional, physical and sexual torture that prompted her to shoot her husband.

Winkler said she did not remember pointing or firing her husband's 12-gauge shotgun at him shortly after he allegedly tried to silence their crying infant daughter by suffocating her.

She said all she said remembered was catching a whiff of gunpowder before she fled the room and returned to find her husband lying on the floor, bleeding from the nose and mouth.

Winkler's emotional testimony sharply contrasted with her quiet demeanor as she described the sexual acts, emotional abuse and beatings that she claimed her husband subjected her to.

The court room was shocked into silence when she showed the wig and tall white platform heel that the pastor used to make her wear during the sexual act.

She said that her husband had a volatile temper which escalated at times and would inflict bruises on her.

Prosecutors claim the Winklers' finances were in shambles and she had deposited fraudulent checks into her account.

But Mary defen ded herself saying that it was her husband who had asked her to do so.

During Winkler's trial earlier this year, defense psychologist Lynne Zager testified that Winkler's mental state affected her ability to form the criminal intent to kill her husband.

A defense psychologist testified Tuesday that Winkler suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, which affected her ability to think clearly the morning she shot her husband.

Before she was taken into custody at sentencing, Winkler was living in McMinnville, Tenn., with a family who took her in after she was released on bond in 2006. The head of the household testified at her sentencing that Winkler had become a new person since going to live with the family.

Her boss at a dry cleaner in McMinnville also testified at her sentencing that Winkler was a model employee whom the public should not fear if she were released.

A defense psychologist testified Tuesday that Winkler suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, which affected her ability to think clearly the morning she shot her husband.

On June 8, McCraw sentenced Winkler to three years, but with 210 days to be served in custody, minus 143 days she served in pretrial custody in 2006. He also gave her the option of serving up to 60 days in a mental health facility.

She is set to be released after she serves the remainder of her time, or whenever the treating facility deems her ready. Because Winkler has already served 13 days in jail, she is set for release back to society after serving out her time in the mental health facility.


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