The verdict is has come in the Mary Winkler murder trial … guilty of voluntary manslaughter. Mary Winkler faces 3-6 years for the murder of her husband.
A preacher’s wife who claimed her husband abused her was convicted of voluntary manslaughter Thursday for killing him with a shotgun she said fired accidentally as she aimed at him.
Mary Winkler showed no emotion as the verdict was read.
Prosecutors had sought a first-degree murder conviction, but the jury settled on the lesser charge after deliberating for eight hours. She faces three to six years in prison but would be eligible for parole after serving about a third of the sentence.
This is hardly the verdict that prosecutors hoped for as they were going after first and second degree murder charges. However, Mary Winkler told jurors on Wednesday a gripping story of physical and sexual abuse that obviously swayed them.
Winkler told jurors in powerful testimony Wednesday that her husband, Matthew, abused her physically and sexually, but she said she did not pull the trigger and the shotgun went off accidentally as she pointed it at him.
The prosecution said it was ludicrous to suggest the shooting was an accident. Assistant District Attorney General Walt Freeland said bank managers were closing in on a check-kiting scheme that Mary Winkler wanted to conceal from her husband.
(One the surface it all seemed so normal)
It seems obvious that the jury felt they needed to punish Mary Winkler as there was a murder yet they also were never going to give her a first or second degree murder verdict that would have carried a sentence far worse that 3 to 6 years. Was it the right thing to do? Was it an accident or more a situation that someone was pushed to the breaking point due to abuse? Or was it as the prosecution stated an effort to conceal a check writing scheme?
Did the jury do the right thing?