Winkler Still Loves Husband, Despite Killing Him

Convicted killer Mary Winkler said she never meant to shoot and kill her husband, Matthew.

Winkler appeared on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" Wednesday to discuss her case.

Winkler spent seven months behind bars after a Tennessee jury found the mother of three guilty of manslaughter in April.

When he died, Matthew was a popular pastor at the 4th Street Church of Christ in Selmer, Tenn. But, Winkler said, behind closed doors she feared for her life at the hands of a husband she called abusive.

On the night of Matthew's death, she sat down to speak with him about his behavior, with a 12-gauge shotgun in hand.

"Stop being so mean," Winkler said she wanted to tell her husband. "And just relax and enjoy life."

At some point she fired the gun.

"When I heard the boom, I thought, 'Oh my goodness. He's going to think I meant to do that on purpose,'" Winkler said in an interview with Winfrey Wednesday. "So I took out of there."

Parishioners later found Matthew's body at the family's home after he failed to show up for the weekly Wednesday night service.

The 31-year-old preacher had been shot in the back of the head and left to die on his bed, choking on his own blood.

Meanwhile, Winkler was miles away in Alabama, where authorities eventually found her.

Despite ending Matthew's life, Winkler said she still loves her husband. "I love Matthew," she said. "It was very bad, but it could be very good."

Winkler is in the middle of a bitter custody battle with her former in-laws, with whom her daughters currently live.

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