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Sunday, February 04, 2007                                                                                       View Comments

Murder? NP. Beer and cigarettes? Henious!

Nearly a year after preacher Matthew Winkler was murdered inside his home in Selmer, the wife accused of shooting him in the back is still front-page fodder.

Now, cell phone pictures first obtained by Action News Five, are the talk of this quiet town.

People who took the photos say Mary Winkler spent New Year's Eve in a McMinnville bar drinking and smoking.

We gave the ladies at a Selmer hair salon a closer look. "Well, I'm a pastor's daughter and I can't imagine my mother doing that--it's shocking," said Claire Plunk.

Seeing Mary Winkler seated at a bar, cigarette in hand, beer bottle in front of her, does not sit well with some.

"I definitely don't think she's a poor, innocent victim," said another lady in the salon.

At a different salon, we found another opinion.

"Because she confesses to be a Christian--so she ain't got no business being in there whether she killed her husband or not," said June Wood.

While we had some luck getting folks to talk inside these beauty salons, not everyone on the streets of Selmer was willing to talk about the photos.

One man ducked inside when the pictures came out, saying, "leave me out of this."

People like Kay Cox did not mind talking. "This seems to be a little, I don't know, maybe out of line." Cox says she has to consider the nature of the crime and the Winkler children.

"I don't know really what to say--I don't think that's what she was supposed to be doing," she said.

"I wouldn't condemn her if she stayed drunk all the time--going through a psychological thing like shooting your husband," said Selmer resident Tom Howell.

Tom Howell says he knew Mathew Winkler well. This was his first look at the pictures. "She certainly doesn't look drunk--I can say that," he said.

He says he has no problem with Winkler's behavior, as long as it does not violate the terms of her pre-trial supervision.

Investigators are looking into that.

No one from the Church of Christ in Selmer where Mathew Winkler preached wanted to speak with us on camera.

My calls to two women who have spoken on Mary Winkler's behalf before did not return my calls.

The District Attorney General prosecuting this case says the TBI is aware of our story.

If there is evidence Winkler violated her bond, the DA says he will push for it's revocation.


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