Thursday, April 12, 2007

Play the Abuse Card! Update: 8-15-07 Mary Winkler Free?


Update 8-15-07: Apparently after serving only less then 7 months in custody, Mary Winkler apparently is out free! Mary Winkler, 33, was freed from a Tennessee mental health facility where she had been treated for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. According to her lawyer Steve Farese, She will fight a legal battle for custody of her three daughters. She also must defend a $2 million civil suit filed by the parents of Matthew Winkler.

Slain Pastor's Wife Was Abused thus Temporary Insanity v.
Prosecution: She Hoped to Hide Money Scheme

AP story by BETH RUCKER

SELMER, Tenn. (April 12) -- A preacher's wife was trying to protect her young daughter from her abusive husband when she pointed a shotgun and accidentally shot him, her attorney said in opening statements Thursday.
Mary Winkler only intended to hold her husband at gunpoint to force him to talk about his personal problems after an incident involving their 1-year-old daughter, Breanna, defense attorney Steve Farese said. ...
But after Mary Winkler was arrested she told police her husband was a "fine person." "The state will give you evidence to show that this... was a premeditated act because of things that had been happening of which Mary Winkler was in control."
District Attorney Freeland said bank managers were closing in on a check kiting scheme involving Mary Winkler and that she wanted to conceal it from her husband. He said Mary Winkler was the one who controlled the family's finances...
Update 4-18: Defendant claims it was an accident! Ever hear of a premeditated accident?

Update 4-20 The Defense Works Again! T
he preacher's wife accused of killing her husband took the witness stand this week and dredged up every embarrassing detail, talking about the abuse in front of TV cameras and family members. The risky decision to testify had a powerful effect on the jury and probably explains why Winkler will not spend the rest of her life in prison.

A jury found Winkler guilty of voluntary manslaughter Thursday after eight hours of deliberation. The prosecution had sought a conviction for first-degree murder, a far more serious offense.

In powerful testimony Wednesday, Winkler testified that her husband abused her physically and sexually. But she still claimed that the shotgun went off accidentally as she pointed it at him.

Because Winkler has no prior convictions, she faces a sentence of three to six years in prison. She would be eligible for parole after serving a third of the sentence and will receive credit for the five months she already spent in jail. If Winkler, 33, had been convicted of first- or second-degree murder, she would have gone to prison for 12 years to life.

Update 8-5-08: Mary Winkler was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the 2006 shooting death of her minister husband. She is not only out of jail, but now has taken custody of her three daughters. She picked the girls up Friday from the slain man's parents, Dan and Diane Winkler.

Update 11-5-10: Mary Winkler's husband is dead but she has moved on with her life! Women are sometimes "hesitant to speak out and ask for help," Mary Winkler said on the "Today" show. Winkler, who was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for the March 2006 killing of her preacher husband served less than a year behind bars. In 2008, Mary regained full custody of her three daughters.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

California Surfer Dude said:

Before all the hot babes come on here and defend the right of women to blow away their husbands, consider this:

On their honeymoon, a blonde bride slipped into a sexy nightie and with great anticipation, crawled into bed, only to find that her new Catholic husband had settled down on the couch.

When she asked him why he was not going to make love to her. He replied, "Can't, it's Lent".

In tears, she remarked, "Well, that is the most ridiculous
thing I have ever heard! Who did you lend it to, and for how long?"

Enjoy.
Surfer Dude

Ms. Calabaza said...

The old cliche: Who knows what happens behind closed doors? This trial is going to be interesting to follow . . . She denies that statement and others that the arresting police officers have stated. Will her peers have empathy or is she in BIG trouble?

Viper said...

Ms.Calabaza, As always, a very astute observation. The defense is aimed at the female members of the jury. There is probably not a single woman on that jury that one time or another has not felt abused (either mentally or physically.) For the most part, such defenses work best if the defendant has independent evidence of abuse. The Menendez brothers did very well in the first trial because of the image they were able to portray in the first trial. I will be watching this case with interest.

Good pick up legal pubmeister.

Anonymous said...

Courtesy of renown Jury Evaluator Harry Plopkin:

Harry Plotkin's April Jury Tip of the Month

___________________________________

“Secrets of Jury Selection: Replacing Assumptions with Understanding”

Never assume that all jurors are logical. Many are anything but. No matter how strong your case may be and how airtight your evidence in supporting or disputing liability, there will be jurors out there who are strongly predisposed to be against you. Never assume that all jurors will agree with your strongest points, even if your evidence is compelling and the opposition has nothing to dispute it. All it takes for a juror to disagree with you is for your case to clash with their version of reality, skewed by a single fluke experience. As illogical as it may be, your strong evidence itself can destroy your credibility, in that juror’s mind, by conflicting with their skewed vision of how the world works.

How can your credibility be breached, even in a slam-dunk case with strong, undisputed evidence? If a juror has had any experience that tells them reality is different than the one your evidence suggests—perhaps they survived a car crash at 50 mph without a scratch, while your client is paralyzed from a low-speed fender bender—your logical evidence seems illogical to them. If your juror has any reason to mistrust your honest client—perhaps you represent one of Fortune 500’s top companies to work for, yet the juror has had a string of bitter employment experiences—your honest company will be assumed to be dishonest (along with their evidence and testimony) by the juror.

Notice, however, that the key to understanding juror bias and predisposition is not the experiences themselves, but rather how jurors interpret those experiences, how they feel about them, and how they react to and deal with them. Not all jurors who survive violent car crashes are pro-defense; those who recognize that lesser crashes often cause serious injury, understand how lucky they are, and drive much more carefully now may very easily be pro-plaintiff. Not all jurors who have been fired and discriminated against are pro-plaintiff. Some may recognize that they had uncommonly bad managers and maintain an optimistic view of employers and the world. Some may be practical or optimistic by nature and shrug off any trauma or resentment. Some might take some personal blame for those negative experiences—perhaps they shouldn’t have taken the job in the first place, or quit their job earlier—learned from them, and now expect others to do the same. All three of these jurors may be strongly pro-defense, despite their negative experiences, simply because of their outlook.

Anonymous said...

J.D. Mills said...

The A.P. has got it right. Another woman who killed with a chainsaw could get death.
A.P. Story
By CARSON WALKER


Daphne Wright, convicted of premeditated murder, could become South Dakota's first female defendant to face death by lethal injection.

April 13) - A woman accused of killing and dismembering her former lover's friend was convicted Thursday of premeditated murder and could become the state's first female defendant to face the death penalty...

The same jury that found her guilty after about seven hours of deliberations will consider whether to sentence her to death by lethal injection. Witnesses will begin testifying in that phase of the trial Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Wright was jealous of Darlene VanderGiesen, 42, because of her friendship with Wright's former lover. The jealousy turned to rage that drove Wright to kidnap VanderGiesen, kill her, cut apart the body with a chain saw and burn it in February 2006, according to the prosecution.

J.D. Mills

Viper said...

According to a university study, jurors are more likely to favor doctors in about half of medical malpractice cases with strong evidence of negligence. The report also found that plaintiffs win 10 to 20 percent of cases experts believe they should lose. The review covered 30 years of medical malpractice jury verdicts. You can read the story by Sheri Qualters, in The National Law Journal - 04/13/2007

Anonymous said...

Hey, anybody know of a good attorney to take my case? I was working as a successful radio guy and my employer canned me for making a few comments about basketball players........my ex-employer has deep pockets, its CBS!

Mr. Donald Imus

Legal Pub said...

I think not, Don. The consensus was that you are a dumb***. Please read the thread below.

Anonymous said...

California Surfer Dude:

Hey Righteous Dude, it just goes to show how important it is to have a good lawyer.

Surfer Dude

Anonymous said...

Best defense known to the legal profession.

Viper said...

This is likely food for thought for the marriage strike crowd. Perhaps one more reason to think twice before walking down the isle.

Anonymous said...

She played the abuse card very well!

candy said...

Winkler still has some time to think about the consequences of her actions.

Candy.

Anonymous said...

Winkler did not get enough time to think about her actions, Candy.


Jim

Legal Pub said...

Ms. Calabaza is blunt and to the point! Always welcome input from Ms. C.

Blond Bombshell said...

Without knowing more details, even I think this is unfair. Kill a dirt bag husband (assuming this is true which I don't know) then pay the price.

Mary Winkler appears to have gotten off without paying the price. If she were a man, would she be free?

Shell

Anonymous said...

Iron Mike said...

Check out the link of photos taken while she awaited trial. Does not sound like a grieving preacher's wife.

http://www.wmctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=5996728

Iron Mike

Anonymous said...

Free, Free at last.

Mary Winkler fought the law and Mary Winkler won!

Anonymous said...

Wow, whoever selected this jury was worth their weight in gold!

Anonymous said...

great lawyering...

Jim said...

No, fantastic lawyering!

Anonymous said...

Still can't believe you can shoot some one in the back and then go free...

dollar bill said...

That is what can happen when you hire a great lawyer.

Dollar Bill

Anonymous said...

Mary Winkler is an example of what is wrong with the system!

Nancy

Anonymous said...

Contrast Mary Winkler with Darby and you get injustice and inequatable treatment!

Discrimination Must End said...

Mary Winkler is a poster child for the disparate treatment between men and women killers.

Legal Pub said...

Update 11-5-10: Mary Winkler's husband is dead but she has moved on with her life! Women are sometimes "hesitant to speak out and ask for help," Mary Winkler said on the "Today" show. Winkler, who was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for the March 2006 killing of her preacher husband served less than a year behind bars. In 2008, Mary regained full custody of her three daughters.