Originally posted by chissler
Well, she was convicted of Manslaughter and not murder. So that certainly explains most of it. The maximum penalty she faced was six years, so the
three year sentence isn't exactly "nothing". I agree that she should of been slapped with more, but it's not like she was facing a life sentence.
Had she been convicted of murder, a three year sentence would be laughable. But a three year sentence on manslaughter isn't exactly a once in a
life time occurrence.
Any of you ever hear of the movie Life with Billy?
Not much information there, but it is a true story where a woman shot her husband in the head with his rifle, while he was asleep. She was charged
with his murder but found not guilty. When the tales of his abusive history was made clear, it was evident that she had to either kill him or watch
herself, along with her children, lose their life to this man.
I'm not saying I agree with this sentence. But before we pass total judgment, we should have all of the details. For all we know, she was the
victim of serious physical, verbal, and mental abuse. That alone does not excuse her behaviour, but it could certainly offer an insight to the
I suspect the 'manslaughter' conviction in particular, allied with the brief incarceration, is what is puzzling and in some instances, outraging
A man asleep in his bed. Not throwing his weight around or slapping or threatening anyone.
His wife takes his gun from the wardrobe. She aims at her sleeping husband. She fires. He is mortally wounded but alive. He asks: 'Why?'. His
wife claims she said she was 'sorry'. She then takes the three children and the gun and flees the scene --- leaving behind a dying man.
Was the verdict of manslaughter reached as result of the killer's lawyers implying that the victim was a pedophile, sexual deviant and physically
violent towards his wife?
Had the prosecution challenged and conclusively dismissed as fiction, these suggestions --- would the verdict then have been premeditated murder, as
The victim was asleep
His killer arose, took the weapon and fired into the victim's sleeping back.
How is that not premeditated ?
And HOW is it 'manslaughter' ?
I've looked for more detail of the trial but so far haven't found anything. Clearly, what I've failed to find is where Mary Winkler and her
defence managed to persuade the jury that when she stealthily arose from the bed (as she clearly did, for her sleeping husband was not awakened) and
when she took the gun from the wardrobe -- that she did not intend to fire.
Otherwise, her actions can only be described as premeditated.
And *if* she did not intend to fire the weapon --- what *was* her intention?
Did she intend to have a discussion -- at gunpoint -- with her sleeping husband?
If so --- why didn't she call out to him or shove him and awaken him?
Why, instead, did she remove the safety and aim the gun at her sleeping spouse's back?
What was she supposed to be doing in those moments --- practising her aim?
Obviously not practising. She pulled the trigger. He died.
Manslaughter would be appropriate *if* Matthew Winkler had been awake and possibly engaged in discussion, argument or other interaction with his wife.
*If*, during this, she had grabbed the gun and pointed it at her husband and *if* she had fired the gun inadvertently ... *then* the manslaughter
conviction could be understood.
But that's not what occurred. She rose from the bed. Why? She went to the wardrobe. Why? She took the gun. Why? She aimed at her sleeping
husband. Why? She shot him in the back.
Compare this with the sentences imposed on those who --- in their own homes and in the process of defending their own and loved ones lives --- have
killed armed intruders.
Amongst the questions directed to them at trial are: ' Did you believe your own or family's lives were at risk? '. The defendant must prove to
the jury that they did not use 'unreasonable force' to defend themselves against *armed* criminals. They must convince the jury that shooting or
stabbing etc. the armed intruders was their only survival option. They must convince that running, hiding, calling the police etc. would not have
been adequate to ensure their survival in the circumstances in which they'd been placed. And all this, even if the armed intruders had pistol
whipped, raped, beaten or shot them or a member of their family.
Why weren't the same questions directed at Mary Winkler ?
" Was he threatening you and the children ? "
Answer: " No. He was asleep in bed."
" Why didn't you phone the police, if you believed your husband was a threat to you or the children? Why didn't you depart the home with your
children while your husband slept, or at the first available opportunity?
Why -- if you believed yourself and your children were in danger from your husband --- didn't you go with your children to a neighbours? To your
father's? To your in-laws? To friends? To a motel? To the police station?
Why instead did you shoot your sleeping husband in the back?
Why didn't you summon emergency services to your dying husband?
Why instead did you depart the scene, leaving him to die alone on the floor?
I put it to you, Mary Winkler, that you foolishly squandered money you had secretly withdrawn from your own, your husband's and joint bank accounts
and were angry when your husband discovered this and confronted you with it. I put it to you that you resented having to account for your actions.
Is it not true that you planned to shoot your husband that night and waited until he was asleep, after which you silently retrieved the gun from the
wardrobe, tip-toed to where he slept, aimed and shot him in cold blood? "
Because that's what she did. She didn't fire at the ceiling or into the floor.
And I haven't found anything to explain why she went to the wardrobe for the gun in the first place.
Yet, she was convicted of manslaughter. Which it literally was. But based on the available information, it's unbelievable she wasn't charged with
and found guilty of, murder.