Left: Mary Winkler enters the Baldwin County Satellite Courthouse Friday (AP Photo/Mobile Register, John David Mercer)
(Selmer, TN) Those who are acquainted with Mary Winkler, the wife of a preacher who confessed Friday to killing her husband, struggle to reconcile the woman they knew with the news that Mrs. Winkler has been arraigned on first-degree murder charges.
"They were wonderful people," said Lola France, who lived near the Winklers. "He was nice as he could be and she was real nice, too. I would see her out with her daughters and you'd think nobody could be happier. I can't understand this."
Felecia Jones and the Winkler family attended the Bellevue Church of Christ together several years ago.
“Around me, she was always such a happy person,” Jones said. “We were just friends, just buddies. I'm still in denial. I know that's not Mary. That's just not her."
Neighbor Michael Weeter, who lived next door, said that the Winkler children played with his children.
"They seemed like good people," he said. "It's hard to believe what is being said now."
Nekki King, a church member who lived up the street from the Winklers, called the couple "very sweet people."
"Nothing was ever wrong," she said. "I just wonder if something happened that no one knows about."
Church member Anita Whirley joined other congregants in a planned spring cleanup.
"Listen, the Mary we knew didn't do this," she said as she planted pansies outside Fourth Street Church of Christ. "She was a wonderful person. We just don't understand."