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Preacher’s Wife Convicted, But May Escape Jail

Posted Apr 20, 2007 6:05 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Mary Winkler was convicted Thursday of voluntary manslaughter for killing her husband, a fundamentalist Church of Christ preacher in a small West Tennessee town. But the 33-year-old woman may not have to serve time for the crime.

Although court officials said a standard sentence is three to six years, it is possible Winkler could get a suspended sentence or probation, reports the Nashville Tennessean. Winkler spent five months in the county lockup before she was released on $750,000 bail.

Winkler, who admitted shooting her husband but said it was an accident, was charged with first-degree murder, for which she could have received a life sentence. In convicting her of a lesser charge, the jury apparently was swayed by her testimony that her husband frequently berated her, and pressured her to participate in humiliating sexual activities. An earlier article featured a photograph of an open-toed light-colored platform shoe with a stunningly high heel that Winkler claimed her husband urged her to wear, along with a wig, when alone with him.

She is scheduled to be sentenced on May 18. More details about the verdict are given in this LA Times article.

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