Not Just Preacher's Wife But Church on Trial

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Initial testimony late this week in the Tennessee trial of Mary Winkler for allegedly murdering her husband in his Selmer parsonage put not only the 33-year-old preacher’s widow but the couple’s fundamentalist church on trial.

Perceived male dominance encouraged by the couple’s church played a prominent role in the defense attorney’s questioning of witnesses in the first day of testimony March 12, reports the Christian Chronicle newspaper.

Today in an audiotaped statement played at the trial, Winkler told investigators she shot her husband on March 22, 2006 in an explosive situation that resulted from many years of domestic conflict and constant criticism, the AP reports.

“It’s just a lot of stupid stuff,” she said. “I love him dearly, but gosh, he just nailed me in the ground. … The first of our marriage, I just took it like a mouse, didn’t think anything different. My mom just took it from my dad — that stupid scenario.”

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