Mary Winkler, the wife of Matthew Winkler, a pulpit minister for the Fourth Street Church of Christ in the small West Tennessee town of Selmer, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of her husband in March 2006. He had been shot at the parsonage in which he and his family lived. After the gruesome murder, public speculation focused on Winkler’s motives and mental health and allegations of abuse by her husband.
Despite a flurry of media attention, Mary Winkler has kept a low profile since her release from prison in August 2007. She had been convicted of killing her husband during an episode of domestic violence, and she maintained that the gun had accidentally went off while they were playing around in the house. The prosecutors pushed for a first-degree murder conviction, but the jury opted for the less severe verdict of voluntary manslaughter. Before her sentencing, Winkler read a hollow-hearted statement in which she apologized for her actions.
Since her release, Winkler has been renting a house in Smithville. She has been working at a local dry cleaner, and she also had a job at a nursery outside of McMinnville. However, her employment was not permanent due to the negative publicity that surrounded her. Currently, she is raising her three daughters. She maintains that the girls are very happy, and she enjoys having a big yard where they can run and play. They often help her with chores around the house.