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8th-Jun-2007 10:18 pm
Wife who killed pastor husband may serve 60 days
SELMER, Tennessee (AP) -- A woman who killed her preacher husband with a shotgun blast to the back as he lay in bed was sentenced Friday to three years in prison, but she may end up serving only 60 days in a mental hospital.

Mary Winkler must serve 210 days, or about seven months, of her sentence before she can be released on probation, but she gets credit for the five months she has already spent in jail, Judge Weber McCraw said.

That leaves only two months, and McCraw said up to 60 days of the sentence could be served in a facility where she could receive mental health treatment. That means Winkler may not serve any significant time in prison.
Paris Hilton gets 45 days for probation violation - this cunt murders her husband in cold blood, and gets less than a year? And her charges that he beat her up and made her watch porn and forced sex? Three baby girls, ages 9, 7 and 2 are now going to have to live under the scrutiny of this entire horror, and it was all preventable if she would have just left him. If it's that bad, FUCKING GET YOUR KIDS, GO TO THE COPS, AND LEAVE.

She had a choice. Sorry if that's too harsh, but deal with it. He didn't threaten to kill her or her kids, so the choice was hers.

What a fucking sad, sad joke the criminal justice system is in this case.
9th-Jun-2007 02:43 am (UTC)
I've written about domestic abuse, I've sat up nights trying to convince women to leave assholes (with no success that I know of), and I've treated every man who has ever *tried* to be a dick toward me with the contempt he deserves. And, I'm a woman. AND I still don't get where these women's "flight or fight" response goes when it's their lives and sanity in trouble. But if you're gonna bring a kid into it, DO something. (Although ... it could be argued she DID do something about it.)
9th-Jun-2007 03:12 am (UTC)
Statistically, an abused woman's chances of being murdered by her abuser skyrocket if she leaves, or tries to leave. That's why people *don't* leave...because the devil you know is better than him showing up unexpectedly at your work and blowing you and your coworkers away. So I can see why someone would prefer to make sure he couldn't come after her. If he was abusing her, there's absolutely NO reason for anyone to think that he'd stop at "just" beating her and raping her. While her other actions might not be too rational, it's entirely logical for her to be in fear of her life.

On the other hand, I don't think she should only serve sixty days, either. She was convicted of manslaughter.
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9th-Jun-2007 04:12 am (UTC)
The husband is dead, and not once in the trial was it ever made mention (unless I am wrong) that he ever threatened to kill her or the girls.

I can certainly understand the fear that people may not believe your story, but that hardly justifies non-self defense manslaughter in my eyes.

My sister and I have both worked for/been on the board of directors for a local battered women's shelter, I've reasonably well versed on some of the things that might be posed as an argument defending this woman - and while I do feel for her in terms of the abuse she alleged from him (as should anyone provided it is true) it doesn't change the fact that she killed him in the manner and under the circumstances she did. She opted not to even try to get help, she opted to murder her husband.

I respectfully agree to disagree.
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9th-Jun-2007 04:43 am (UTC)
I used the word 'alleged' in reference to both his abuse and her suffering it, but I don't buy it - call it a gut feeling, but I suspect it never happened and that she made it up as an excuse to try and legitimize what she did. She had other things going on (the check thing, for instance) that he could have likely found out about and told her she had to go to the authorities about, and she wasn't having that. It's just a theory, I'm sure there are thousands of them.

Violence can make one fear for their life, of course - but the story here does not allude to violence of such a degree as to incite a level of fear that might justify self defense murder, that's a HUGE stretch in this case. There was no mention of any frequency or consistency of the abuse she alleges, she made more mention of how critical he was of her - appearance, how she ate, etc. - than of actual abuse. He never threatened her with any weapons, he never alluded to killing her in any way. A case built on mitigating factors like that is more likely to convince me, not "he criticized how I ate". That amounts to the Twinkie defense.

In cases like these, it DOES happen on occasion that women will lie and pull the abuse card. Just as a vindictive woman might pull the rape card, when rape did not occur. It happens, sadly. Hopefully rarely, but it does occur also.

Everything about Mary Winkler seems icy and calculated, sociopathic and remorseless. I don't want to say that it never happened as she alleges, but I will say that I just don't feel it based on what I've gathered from the trial and countless news releases. It simply doesn't wash.

I think she did it in cold blood, which is what a murdering cunt would do. What I feel for was in the hypothetical.

I value your opinion, however terse - and I honor your point of view, that it isn't in agreement with my own is inconsequential. I don't surround myself exclusively with people who agree with me, that's a horrible way to live.
9th-Jun-2007 04:00 am (UTC)
I ... am just lost for words at this post.

There is a very, very good reason a lot of women don't just "walk away" from abuse. For example, some women are told, every single day, that if they try they will suffer and their children will suffer or die.

Maybe you've never really seen this kind of abuse up close -- fine. Happens. Not easily understood. But really, Paris Hilton? That racist, slutbomb, opportunistic, slothy freak? She deserves more than 45 days for the DUI -- let alone breaking the PROBATION she got for that twice.
9th-Jun-2007 04:09 am (UTC)
I can tell you from some ... limited experience, that the children are already suffering if they're watching this. There's very little to lose by getting them the hell out of a situation like this, and the possibility of gain ... but by staying, there's only continuing loss. Or, you could kill the guy.
9th-Jun-2007 04:16 am (UTC)
I've yet to read any report from this case where he ever threatened her life or his children's life - and that is not a defense of his alleged behavior, just fact - unless I missed it somewhere. Yes, that is the case for some women - but I do not believe it was for THIS woman.

As I commented to someone else earlier, my sister and I have both worked for/been on the board of directors for a local battered women's shelter, I've reasonably well versed on some of the things that might be posed as an argument defending this woman - and while I do feel for her in terms of the abuse she alleged from him (as should anyone provided it is true) it doesn't change the fact that she killed him in the manner and under the circumstances she did. She opted not to even try to get help, she opted to murder her husband.
9th-Jun-2007 04:53 am (UTC)
She opted not to even try to get help, she opted to murder her husband.

You should know from experience that many emotionally and physically abused women don't have the aggression necessary to "walk away" or seek help; they're cowed into submission by their abusers, and either fear of being beaten, or abandoned by everyone they know, keeps them where they are even if no murder threats are made. Plus, she was a pastor's wife; the pressure on church leaders and their spouses to maintain a facade is strangling, and mental health issues can be seen as the psychic attacks of Satan on a weak soul or backslider. My childhood church lost a very good man as pastor because he fought depression for years and finally suffered a breakdown. Mary Winkler seems to have crumbled under the same pressure.

I'm fortunate that my mother didn't let my father's initial abuse of her escalate into something worse; but I shudder to think what would have happened, had the cops who came to the house after she tried to kill him thought as you did. She had a two-year-old baby, was pregnant with another, and had run away from her abusive family at 18; she had nowhere to go but jail had she been arrested for "not just walking away." Instead, the cops took a look at my father's bleeding ear (she flung a knife at his head and just missed), told him not to be such a stupid bastard, and left. The Old Man never raised a hand to my mother again. However, Mom was not the rule--she was the exception.

And yes, she flung the knife with my oldest brother looking on from his bowl of cereal. I know he's an asshole, but I don't think that episode did it to him.

9th-Jun-2007 05:01 am (UTC)
I don't believe her allegations of abuse, I think she did it in cold blood and used a story of abuse to get sympathy for her case.

Your story involved a lot of factors that don't even remotely resemble what happened in this family, but I'm glad for your sake that it worked out as it did, but I'm curious how she never got in trouble for assault unless your parents downplayed what happened. Do you know the rest of that story, was it shared with you how it never came to be that she got in trouble for her actions? What about his?
9th-Jun-2007 05:21 am (UTC)
I do believe her allegations of abuse. Neither of us knows the whole story; we know what's been reported in the media, but we don't know all of what happened behind closed doors. And I know what it's like to be pressured for as well as into sex, although my circumstances definitely do not match Mary Winkler's in the least. So yes, I believe her. And I feel for her.

My parents didn't get into trouble for several reasons. They were white, and known to the Chicago police as a decent young couple trying to run a restaurant. Mom was also six months pregnant with my younger brother, and the cops told her they'd rather she take care of her kids than go to jail. The Old Man only had a nick on the ear, yet carried on as if Mom had cut his throat; the cops told him if he couldn't take it, he shouldn't dish it out. And of course they didn't arrest him. It was 1954; she was his wife, and as long as he didn't kill her, he could smack her around if he wanted. The Old Man suddenly preferred to have Mom on his side rather than the prevailing social attitude.

9th-Jun-2007 04:54 am (UTC)
Agreed. That moron should have received a year in jail.

9th-Jun-2007 05:35 am (UTC)
I don't know about this case. But cases of justifiable homicide have arisen. The way to deal with that though isn't through leniency in sentencing--it's to say "you had to shoot your way out of there" and let the defendant walk, or not be charged.
9th-Jun-2007 06:15 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, I don't see that happening in domestic abuse cases. The prevailing social view is still, "Why doesn't she just leave?" People don't think of how constant abuse will grind down any personality you've got left, any aggressiveness, any initiative. They just try to imagine what it's like, and then create an escape for themselves--in their heads. And because they can imagine ways for themselves to get out of it, they think it should be that easy for the victims.


9th-Jun-2007 06:18 am (UTC)
We must be careful in this consideration though, because given enough imagination any violence could be justified. It's more complicated than "she just has to leave" or "domestic violence victims have zero agency".
9th-Jun-2007 06:41 am (UTC)
It's not that it's zero agency so much; it's that you're in a state where, instead of ways out, all you see are traps. The closest analogy I can come to (not ever having been beaten by a partner) is like being in a job you hate. The boss constantly gives you shit and plays mind games, the money is just enough to pay your bills, your car's on the verge of breaking down, taking the bus would mean a longer commute by 2 hours--and the economy has just entered a recession. Every time you think you're going to quit, your brain starts feeding you reasons why you shouldn't.

I just wish more juries would get an education into the psychological makeup of a domestic violence victim, instead of being allowed to think that the whole thing was a situation of willingly walking into a lion's cage, and then standing in front of the crouching animal with the cage door wide open.

9th-Jun-2007 07:39 am (UTC)
Well, this is a tough one. No, I haven't read the coverage on this event, it just makes me feel helpless. In a case like "The Burning Bed", you kind of understand, but I do believe that adults should find other options than violence and murder.

But it wasn't determined to be murder, it was manslaughter. We weren't on the jury, but that was the result. Three years would seem to be a typical sentence for that crime. I do think the "time served, let her go" approach somehow blunts the punishment which is richly deserved.

You bring up the tiresome Paris Hilton, and boy are a lot of people pissed at Sherriff Lee Baca for sending her home! Me, too, she was jailed for probation violation but her probation was for drunken driving, not a trivial offense. And the last time she was arrested for driving without a license, wasn't she going 60 in a 30 zone? I have no pity for her.

I posted quite awhile ago about a loved friend who was killed by a drunken driver. (http://burlyinthebay.livejournal.com/26086.html ). There's really no excuse for getting behind the wheel plastered, but some people think that wealth, power and popularity will allow them to sleaze through anything.

I think that both sentences are "in the ballpark" of other persons convicted of the same crimes in similar circumstances.

9th-Jun-2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
From reading most of the comments here, it seems that it comes down to a squaring off on whether one believes her claims to abuse or not -- and how severe they were if they did occur.

I guess, to my thinking, this becomes sideline speculation of such a degree that I wouldn't develop a harsh opinion one way or another at such a remove. I don't believe the media provides us sufficient evidence to be up at arms about this.

Who's Paris Hilton? :)
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