Winkler Trial Gets Underway

Selmer, Tenn. (AP) -- Prosecutors said a preacher's wife accused of killing her husband had been depositing bad checks and feared he would find out.

The murder trial of Mary Winkler started Thursday in the small West Tennessee town of Selmer. She is accused of shooting her husband Matthew as he lay in bed in the parsonage last March.

A defense attorney said Mary Winkler only intended to hold her husband at gunpoint to force him to talk about a personal situation.

The situation, which attorneys did not describe, involved their 1-year-old daughter, Breanna.

Her defense attorney said Matthew Winkler had threatened his wife with a gun many times.

The prosecutor said bank managers were closing in on a check-kiting scheme that Mary Winkler wanted to conceal from her husband.

But the defense attorney said Mary Winkler handled the family finances only because she did everything her husband told her. He said she was abused verbally, emotionally and physically.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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