Friday, March 24, 2006

Witnesses Recall Winkler's Arrest in Orange Beach, AL

Police, witnesses recall Winkler's arrest and time in Orange Beach

(ORANGE BEACH, Ala.) March 24 -- There are thousands of people in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores this week, many of them families on Spring Break, and when Police got the word to be on the look out for a woman and three children in a mini-van, it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

"This is Spring Break. The city is full, and the officers did an outstanding job in locating the vehicle," said Orange Beach Assistant Police Chief Greg Duck.

Police say Mary Winkler had just checked into the Sleep Inn Motel in Orange Beach late Thursday afternoon when she decided to take the children out for dinner. Witnesses say Winkler barely made it out of the parking lot when a patrol unit pulled her over.

Pattie Evans is visiting from Owensboro, Kentucky. She told NBC 15 News, "We were across the street having dinner, and we knew something was going on."
Click here for Full Story-WPMI

Mary Winkler is being held presently in Baldwin County Jail in Bay Minette, AL. (the county seat) This morning Mary Winkler became a suspect and as the day unfolded she confessed to murdering her husband, Pastor Matthew Winkler, 31 yrs old. Mrs. Winkler has been charged now with 1st degree murder; she waived extradition and will be sent back to Tennessee.

It seems to be somewhat confusing on if she had rented a condo and checked in first to a motel or not. This motel listed above is not a condo. It makes you wonder if she had previously planned for spring break to bring the children to the beach or perhaps she thought it would be a place to escape to. Many unanswered questions at this time, the press conference today gave very few details. One good thing that was revealed the children did not witness the murder, but it makes me wonder if they might have heard the fatal shot(s).

Excerpts from Fox News:
Orange Beach Police Chief Billy Wilkins said Friday that Mary Winkler had rented a condo on the beach but hadn't stayed there.

Assistant Police Chief Greg Duck said authorities spotted Mary Winkler as she left a Waffle House around 7:30 p.m. Thursday after picking up a carryout order. The children were in the car with her at the time.

A custody hearing was held Friday afternoon in Alabama, where a Juvenile Court judge was determining whether the parents of Matthew Winkler should take custody of the children, according to Duck. Mary Winkler attended that hearing, FOX News confirmed.

Mary Winkler's father, reached in her hometown of Knoxville, Tenn., declined to comment Friday.
Update from Fox News-Full Story

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