Friday, April 13, 2007


Both sides presented their theories of the crime in day one of the Mary Winkler trial:
A prosecutor said Winkler killed her husband not because of any mistreatment, but because she had been depositing bad checks and feared that he would find out.

The defense told jurors that she killed her husband accidentally while trying to protect their child from him.

Mary Winkler, 33, only intended to hold her husband at gunpoint to force him to talk about his personal problems after a situation involving their 1-year-old daughter, Breanna, defense attorney Steve Farese said. The defense did not describe the situation.

"The morning he did what he did to Breanna, she was going to get his attention — with the very things he had always threatened her with," Farese said. He said Matthew Winkler had threatened his wife with a gun many times.

The defense is pushing the Nigerian scam angle. The abuse card is an easy card to play as Matthew Winkler cannot deny the charges, nor can a one year old daughter testify to any sort of "situation", as of yet undescribed. One thing the defense argues I have no problem believing: Mary Winkler was a woman under intense pressure, pressure she was not dealing with adequately.

Meanwhile, the parents of Matthew Winkler have filed a wrongful death suit against their daughter-in-law. I'm not sure what they hope to accomplish with it, other than perhaps better their position regarding custody of the children. They're certainly not going to collect the $2 million in damages unless the Nigerians finally come through with that deposit or, as the article suggests, they anticipate her benefitting from book or movie deals.. As the criminal process is (properly) underway against Mary Winkler, I'm not sure about the scripturalness of their suit, either.


Jeff @ said...

I'm sure how scriptural their lawsuit is... and maybe I'll even get around to blogging on it in a day or two. :)

Wild Bill said...

I expect your supposition regarding custody is correct. In light of the OJ Simpson and the Robert Blake verdicts, the parents were likely advised to file the suit in the event the jury does not convict. The burden of proof on the state in criminal trial is significantly higher than on the plaintiff in a civil case (who only has to prove "more likely than not" as opposed to beyond a reasonable doubt. It sounds rather grasping from the defense, but when your client has shot her spouse in the back with a shotgun, you are left in the position of grasping for defenses.

Alan said...

Jeff, I just saw in a news article that Matthew Winkler's parents are suing on the children's behalf. As they likely are unbaptized, maybe that's an acceptable loophole. ;-)