Wife who shot preacher calls sentence too short

9/12/07 
Latest update 

(CNN) — The parents of a Tennessee preacher shot to death by his wife convinced a judge to keep the convicted killer at home, but they couldn’t keep her off the air.

Seven months in custody wasn’t a long enough sentence for what she did, Mary Winkler said Wednesday in an exclusive, pre-recorded interview with Oprah Winfrey.

“There’s no amount of time I think you can put on something like this. I was just ready for them to lock the door and throw away the key,” she told Winfrey.

Winkler had sought permission to travel to Chicago, Illinois, to appear live on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” but the judge who presided over her trial would not give her permission to travel.

Her in-laws, who are suing Winkler for wrongful death and are seeking to revoke her parental rights, also fought the television appearance.

Video Watch Winkler’s interview with Oprah »

Winkler was convicted earlier this year of the shotgun slaying of her husband, Matthew, at the time the minister of the Fourth Street Church of Christ in Selmer, Tennessee.

She told Winfrey that she killed her husband following years of abuse, including physical violence and being forced to dress “slutty” for undesirable sex acts. All she remembers, she said, is the “boom” as the shotgun went off.

Winkler’s account on the show was virtually identical to her testimony during her trial earlier this year. A jury of 10 women and one man found her guilty of voluntary manslaughter. Prosecutors had been pushing for a first-degree murder conviction.

She was released last month from a Tennessee mental heath facility.

Winfrey said on the show that Matthew Winkler’s parents did not respond to requests for an interview. Dan and Diane Winkler, who have filed a $2 million wrongful-death suit against Mary Winkler, are pitched in a bitter custody battle over the couple’s three daughters. 

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