Mary Winkler - Criminal Case

Criminal Case

According to police, Mary Winkler confessed to the March 22, 2006 fatal shooting of her husband, whose body was discovered in their home by church members after he missed that evening's service. He had been shot in the back with a 12 gauge shotgun.

The couple had been married since 1996. One neighborhood family reported that Matthew Winkler had repeatedly threatened to shoot that family's dog after it strayed onto the Winklers' lawn. Also, other friends, as well as Mary Winkler's family, allege that Matthew Winkler had been abusive to Mary. Winkler maintained this was the reason for the shooting.

After police issued an Amber Alert due to fears of kidnapping, Mary Winkler and the children (Patricia, then 8; Mary Alice, then 6; Breanna, then 1) were discovered in Orange Beach, Alabama. Winkler was placed into custody there and later extradited to Tennessee to stand trial. When asked by investigators about what had happened to her husband, Winkler stated that she and her husband had argued about money and offered "I guess that's when my ugly came out." A grand jury indicted Winkler on Monday, June 12, 2006, accusing her of first-degree murder.

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