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Official: Wife shot minister in money argument

An investigator read a statement from Mary Winkler, accused of murdering her minister husband, which said she was tired of her husband’s criticizing her. Prosecutors have not indicated if they will seek the death penalty.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A minister’s wife charged with murdering her husband told police she shot him after they argued over family finances and then told him “I’m sorry” as he lay dying in their bedroom, according to testimony at a bond hearing Friday.

Mary Winkler, 32, has been jailed without bond since March 23, accused of killing her husband, Matthew Winkler, 31, at their Church of Christ parsonage in Selmer, a small town 80 miles east of Memphis.

In court Friday, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Agent Brian Booth read a statement Mary Winkler gave authorities in Alabama, where she was arrested a day after her husband’s body was found by church members.

Booth testified that Winkler told police she knew her husband kept a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun in the closet of the home where they lived with their three daughters. She said she didn’t remember getting the gun.

“The next thing I remember was hearing a loud boom. I remember thinking it wasn’t as loud as I thought it would be,” Booth said, reading from Winkler’s statement.

Testimony: ‘I was tired of it’
She told police her husband rolled from the bed onto the floor after being shot.

“He asked me why, and I just said ‘I’m sorry,”’ Booth read from the statement.

Winkler said the two had argued throughout the evening about several things, including family finances. The problems were “mostly my fault,” she said, because she was in charge of keeping the family books.

“He had really been on me lately criticizing me for things — the way I walk, I eat, everything. It was just building up to a point. I was tired of it. I guess I got to a point and snapped,” Booth read to the court.

The defense has asked for reasonable bond to be set for Winkler, who is charged with first-degree murder. The prosecution is seeking no bond, saying it is a capital case. Prosecutors haven’t indicated whether they plan to seek the death penalty, although they have until 30 days before the trial to announce their intentions.

Church members were expected to testify on Winkler’s behalf.