Mark Winger goes to trial for 1995 murders: Part 9

The prosecution argued that Winger had lured Roger Harrington to their home and shot him, then killed his wife with a hammer. Winger’s defense argued Harrington was a mentally ill killer.
8:04 | 04/17/21

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Transcript for Mark Winger goes to trial for 1995 murders: Part 9
Bailey is resting very comfortably in her daddy's arms. Bailey, I remember the very first time I ever held you in my arms. You were so small, but I fell in love with you immediately, baby, and my love for you has never stopped growing. After dad was arrested he was always writing us letters. So something that I was always really, really excited about to get in the mail. He would always, like, draw the circle at the end of his letter. And then, he would kiss it, and then, we would kiss it. And it was like he was giving us a kiss. I felt that I owed it to him and to my kids to just stand by him. Nobody wants to go through a murder trial. It's very surreal. I just had to tell myself, "Walk, sit down, don't fall, don't cry." Mark would come in on the left-hand door right next to me. He walked in like he owned the place. And I thought to myself, how could he be so confident and so cocky? In my mind, mark was innocent before. He was innocent from the start. That's what everybody thought. The first time I saw Rebecca was at the trial. I wanted to love Rebecca. She adored Bailey, but, you know, I also wanted to hate Rebecca, because Rebecca took my sister's husband, married him, adopted her child, and then had Keep going, keep going. And then had thee more children that my sister wasn't able to do. Winger said he found Harrington beating his wife with a hammer and to save her he shot Harrington twice in the head. Well, I don't think Roger would have ever done what they accused him of doing. All we wanted was his name was cleared, you know? So one of the keys for the prosecution was to prove that Roger had come to the house for a meeting and not to commit murder. Walking through the entry hallway. So what did they have? They had the cigarettes. They had his coffee mug. Why would somebody bring a mug to commit a crime of murder? The way he parked. They had the weapons that were still in the car. This is sort of huge. In Roger's car was this note in his handwriting saying mark winger, the address and the time, in other words when this meeting was going to take place. And for us, it was very simple -- if it's a meeting, it's a murder. Mark's attorney argued that Roger was mentally ill. He had this mask that he sort of worshiped, that he had had other erratic behavior, and that he was capable of this. They put on their own experts to verify this. Mark's defense was that everything occurred just the way he said, and the polaroids, he tried to explain away -- that perhaps the paramedics moved the bodies. It is physically impossible, where Roger Harrington was and where my sister was, to believe mark's story. There was no way that Roger would have fallen off donnah in the fashion that mark said that. And so, from then, my mind was really racing. Here we are at the ceremony The story wasn't what he said it was. It's our belief that Roger comes to the house, he is allowed into the home. There was no signs of forced entry, and he was executed at that time. Hearing the gunshot, donnah winger then comes from the bedroom to investigate. He then beats his wife to death with a hammer. Mark then calls 911. Is the man still in your house? Yes, he's laying there on the floor with a bullet in his head. Did you shoot him? Yes, I shot him! He was killing my wife! The 911 call to most people, I think, showed that mark was very upset and very worried about his wife. Who is this man? I don't -- I don't know who he is. In the 911 call, you can actually hear Roger moaning in the background. Is he dead? I don't know. He's making weird sounds. It's our belief that Roger is not dead at the time. He told the 911 operator that he could hear his baby crying. My baby's crying. My baby's crying. I got to go. I'll call you right back. Your baby is crying, so you hang up on 911? I've listened pretty closely to that tape. Did you hear a baby crying? I heard a man moaning. He realized that maybe he'd called 911 too soon, maybe he had to make sure that Roger was silenced. He had already said that he had shot the man and there was a bullet in his head. When police arrive, there's two bullets in his head. Trials never go the way we expect. That's part of being in a trial. But everybody was hotly anticipating Deann's testimony. When Deann got up to testify, her voice was shaking. She just didn't seem together whatsoever. He said that, you know, it would be easier if donnah just died. I thought it was crazy talk. Deann testified to some of the statements that mark had made after the chance meeting at doctor's hospital where they run into each other. I just said, you know, how do you live with yourself? He said that he had found Jesus Christ and that he was forgiven. He -- well, he told me that if I told anybody our gooses will be cooked. I didn't think that anybody would believe her. And I just thought if that was truly the case, and mark truly did that, she would have come forward right away. The defense had answers to Deann's testimony, that she was emotionally unstable, could have been a woman scorned. Deann Schultz's testimony was able to demonstrate that, in reality, mark was obviously unhappy, who was unfaithful, and had specifically talked about wanting to kill his wife. Do I think that Deann Schultz is partly responsible? Absolutely. The guilt that I'm sure she lives with every single day is worse than sitting in a jail cell. Deann Schultz was granted immunity for her testimony. There was no direct evidence that linked Deann to actively participating in this crime. But at the end, she was such a valuable witness as it relates to presenting the motive. When the case went to the jury, I was sort of thinking, you never know. You just had to wait it out, and you know, this was really nerve racking. I really believed that at the end of that trial that he was going to walk out and walk home with us. When I heard the judge read

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