Mar 30, 2006

Mary Winkler's Attorney Hints at Post-Partum Depression Defense

Left: Mary Winkler at her arraignment on Monday

(Selmer, TN) Steve Farese, a defense attorney for accused murderer Mary Winkler, suggested that the so-called "Memphis Dream Team" might use post-partum depression as a defense of their client.

"This is certainly one of the things we are looking into," he said. "Of course, she has a 1-year-old child, and we have certain information that lead us to believe that is something that needs to be investigated fully."

Farese described the demeanor of Mary Winkler as "very withdrawn, very quiet, overwhelmed," and discussed the likelihood of psychiatric exams for her.

"I think some type of evaluation would be expected in a case like this," he told the Jackson Sun.

Leslie Ballin, another member of Mary Winkler's defense team, left open the possibility of a plea agreement.

"One of my jobs as a defense lawyer in this case will be to sit down with the prosecution to see if there is some kind of arrangement that can be reached." he said.

Farese hinted that today's preliminary hearing may have some surprises.

"Expect the unexpected," he said.


Anonymous said...

And what prescribed pharmacuetical is used to treat post-partum?

Anonymous said...

Odd that after the press tried to cast suspicion on the religious affiliation of the family, now the lawyers take a different route and go to what is happening with her body chemistry.

historymike said...

Anonymous #1: I'm not a psychiatrist, but I would assume some form of SSRI antidepressant.

Anonymous #2: The family's religious affiliation is unfortunately a focus of the attention because Matthew was a minister. I agree, though, that anti-CofC sentiments now have a media vehicle by which to be disseminated.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

I am a member of that church. My heart breaks for the family and for Mary. I know it must be awful to face the fact that you have done something so terrible and so permanent.

Anonymous said...

Hi all. Call me Anonymous99.

I know the Winklers and have seen Matthew, Mary and her girils when they were visiting the church in Nashville where Dan preached.

Couple of thoughts:

1) Please consider giving to the fund set up for their children. The grandparents had left Nashville to somehwat retire and now they face 17+ years of raising and caring for 3 girls. If you can have any compassion for the truly innocent and can give anything, please do. I already have and will continue to give.

2) The forgiving attitude being shown toward Mary is fairly typical from what I have seen in churches of Christ. She is expressing remorse and sorrow for what she did, whatever the reason. The bible teaches that God forgives when a person repents and so should brothers and sisters. Since Mary is my sister, I love her and hold no anger/hatred toward her. I want her to not give up but to know we love her.

3) 2 Corinthians 2:7-8 are speaking of what a church should do when someone has done something terrible but has repented and expressed sorrow (Paul is referring to a case of immorality described in 1 Corinthians). See if these words don't describe what I see many Christians trying to do:

"Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him."

Just change the gender and you have a prescription for what Mary needs.

Anonymous said...

I graduated with Matt and he was a wonderful person. There was not anyone who did not like him. I look at my pictures of him and think, "If you had only known." God bless his children!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Lil' Lady

Interested readers should check out the Selmer/McNairy County newspaper:

It has some good perspective from the hometown folks.

I agree with the comments of Anonymous99. We are very forgiving. However, although Mary has repented and received the forgiveness of God and her fellow Christians, her punishment for her crime under the law still remains. Compassion and forgiveness for Mary is real, but I don't think anyone is trying to say she shouldn't be punished under the law if she is found guilty in a court of law.

Anonymous said...

I agree. No one in the church believes we are not obligated under the law to pay for what we've done. No one is justifying the deed.

Christian Plainclothes said...

There's also the possibility that a child accidently shot and so maimed Matthew that he begged Mary to spare his daughter the life-long pain of the knowledge of having killed her father...

Hastely judging any issue typically leads to unfounded conclusions later difficult to dismiss in the light of truth.

Mr. Schwartz said...

The fact that she fled to Alabama after the fact indicates she was aware what she had done. She was eating at a restuarant with her kids when they arrested her. She RENTED a condo after the slaying.

That's kind of psychotic to me. Calm enough to do all of that after shooting her husband in front of the kids. The day after shooting her husband.

The children and the rest of the family are victims of this crime.

I'm sorry, but I don't the mother deserves a second chance here. Either imprisonment or long term psych hospital.

Sounds brash but it's how I feel.

Critical Thinker said...

I agree with just said references. They are making her case worse by not just saying, "Post-partum," "Infidelity," "accidental shooting," or what. They are hurting the case for this reason:
All of us are waiting for this great big revelation that had to be kept secret, and if we find out it is Mary's psychotic state, or post-partum, or infidelity on either spouse's part, the jury will wonder why all this was kept secret and will harbor no sympathy for Mary. She will get life, death, but will not get the psych ward.

Critical Thinker said...

I agree with just said references. They are making her case worse by not just saying, "Post-partum," "Infidelity," "accidental shooting," or what. They are hurting the case for this reason:
All of us are waiting for this great big revelation that had to be kept secret, and if we find out it is Mary's psychotic state, or post-partum, or infidelity on either spouse's part, the jury will wonder why all this was kept secret and will harbor no sympathy for Mary. She will get life, death, but will not get the psych ward.

Anonymous said...

I'm anonymous 100, I guess. Since some are speculating, here's something interesting regarding psychiatric drugs.

Anonymous said...

that church is a cult like place tey are NO GOOD they ( the people who go to the church) ALL NEED TO GET HELP TO LEAVE THIS CULT CHURCH !

LORI said...

poor mary what hell she must have felt I too agree this "church" was a dangerous CULT.

Anonymous said...

Oh really? And where do the people go who aren't in "this church"--the people who commit the same kinds of things? What is the reason for their crime? Oh I get it. The reason for a church members crime is the church. The reason for a non-members crime is mental illness or something. Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a member of this church, but they sound like the same kind of Christian I was taught to be. Doesn't sound like a cult at all. I sense the presence of some Christian bashers.

If this woman is truly sorry for what she did, God has already forgiven her and she has a place in heaven.

However, here on the prime material plane, the laws of men must prevail to keep order and she must be punished until she meets her final reward.

Me, Myself, and I

GRM in Knoxville said...

If this church is a cult -- show me where to sign up!!

BrianMaxson said...

Thou Shalt Not Kill.

Anonymous said...

The people who think Churches of Christ are a cult are fools who have been listening to liars like Nancy Grace. They are woefully uninformed about religion and probably many, many other things.

I have been attending the Church of Christ most of my life and I can assure you it's not a cult and for anyone to suggest it is shows colossal ignorance on their part.

Anonymous said...

I believe that if you talk to "believers" of ANY church, they will tell you the same thing about forgiveness and what the Word tell us to do. If this had happened in ANY church, I feel that there would be the same reactions related to the church as a whole. By that I mean "THE CHURCH" being global and not placing an emphasis on one particular demonination.

Prayers and thought continue to go to Mary Winkler and all that are closely related to this situation.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
wordsmith said...

Critical Thinker said "They are hurting the case for this reason: All of us are waiting for this great big revelation that had to be kept secret, and if we find out it is Mary's psychotic state, or post-partum, or infidelity on either spouse's part, the jury will wonder why all this was kept secret and will harbor no sympathy for Mary. She will get life, death, but will not get the psych ward."
Don't condemn her, CT, for the silence. First of all, we the public have no entitlement to know what is going on. The media wants us to think so, but we don't.

Secondly, don't forget that the accused is no longer in control of her case, her lawyers are and they will govern what information is disseminated and when. And, by the way, those attorneys are bound by attorney-client privilege, which means they can't tell anyone outside the case what she had told them.

Thirdly, neither the lawyers, nor Mary Winkler herself, may know right now why she did it. How can she/they tell the media when all the facts of the case may be unknown to them?

Fourth, and last, the trial will be before the jury. What you and I think, even if we knew what her "reason" is, doesn't matter at all.

I think the lawyers are being very wise by not spreading rumors at this early point in the case. Their self-control is admirable.

Minister's Wife said...

Finding out more about Mary's case, I too tend to believe this may have been post partum illness combined with depression from having lost her mom to cancer not too long ago.
I've suffered post partum depression, as a Church of Christ minister's wife, who was not cared for by her husband, and finally dissolved the marriage after 27 horrible years.
I believe what we are going to see is that God is going to pull Mary through this and that not only will evidence be brought to light to vindicate Mary, but that she will rise to a higher plane than she has ever been.
The light will shine in her eyes. She will forgive herself as God forgives her repentant heart.
I have talked with one of her church members and I am here to say that I heard so much love coming from this dear sister's heart. She said "I just want to hold her."
Mary was so depressed. She felt so unloved. I don't have to know her to know that.
When we know ourselves we know where other people are coming from.
Look at her face on this last siting and you will see a good person inside -- not a criminal.
Look at the side view of her face as she sits by her attorney.
Mark it down. She will come out the winner and we will all want to know and care for Mary Winker.
She needs our care as much as does her children.

Anonymous said...

Someone sounds awfully proud of that divorce that God hates.

At least Mary Winkler knows that she sinned.

Anonymous said...

ex-preacher's wife, your "story" sounds a little made-up, just to make some points. I'm a preacher's wife, too. There is nothing deep dark and secret; in fact, our lifes are more open to the public than other members. If something was wrong, the members would know. It is possible she was taking some of those statin drugs I mentioned earlier. I was talking to someone who was on those, and she said that she found herself doing things that she knew were wrong, but didn't care. She felt no natural inhibition, caution,or restraint. She said she was always sorry afterwards, but helpless to restrain herself. One notorious radio personality who is sort of into natural health, says that those drugs were not properly tested to see their effect on the mnd over time, and that we don't know exactly what they do to the mind.Many of them are derivatives of LSD, and were created by the pharmacuetical industry. The pharma salesmen convince the doctors, and the doctors recommend them to the patients. Smacks of legal drug-pushing. Look at this article for a list of people who committed crimes, and the drug they were taking:

Minister's Wife said...

Anonymous: You have no idea of the abuse that I was put through for 27 years. I am just grateful that I was able to break out of a bad marriage.
I think this story may help to open some eyes to what is going on in all too many parsonages and behind church doors.
The Bible says: "They have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof...from such turn away."
I believe that all too many churches are mere businesses taking in the money to run their businesses in a way that touches few of the hurts in our society.
I believe that God will bring Mary out alright ... just like He has helped me to make a living after not being allowed to work for the first 46 years of my life!!
Until you have walked in another's shoes you need to be careful lest you judge.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to Mary, her kids, and Matthew Winkler's family.. Only Jesus can satisfy your souls. Whatever hidden sin behind close doors of the Winkler's family only God know.. My prayer to all the victims of this drama. Mahalo and God bless

Anonymous said...

I am a member of the Church of Christ in Missouri. I have been crushed by what has happened. I am thankful for the people in the Church that have forgiven Mary. She has enough trouble facing her the rest of her life. Maybe there were problems on both sides. Now all that matters are the children, and Mary's future.Whatever we all think is not important. It will be Mary's connection with her Lord that will get her through. I am not sure she doesn't have something bad wrong with her. I am judging by her body language, and facts from the news. I see deep depression. I know because I have battled it as well.
Good luck Mary, all true sisters in Christ are with you.
That cult deal is rediculous. Those people who say that, well, it is my personal guess they know very little of the scriptures and don't care to.They are full of ignorance of the scriptures. (To be felt sorry for)and prayed for as well.We will pray for you , Mary.
Your sister in Christ

Anonymous said...

I think we almost have to live in a life like this to understand her actions. I did live with a mad man too. I ran with the children to get away. He later pursued us and we tried to make it work, but he became more aggressive and I had to lock the doors and keep him out. Our priests wanted us to be together "for better or for worse." I told them I couldn't do it for fear what I would do to him. With me, the third time you are out. I am glad I paid attention to my tuition because I would never want on my soul what Mary has. But hey, these men push you over the edge and their thinking is so messed up you cannot rationalize. Everyone thought we were the perfect couple too. Read "Why Does He Do That? Inside the minds of angry and controlling men" by Lundy Bancroft and the world will see what some of us women have to deal with. It is like being henpecked to death by a man!