Members of church honor slain pastor



Police said the pastor's wife confessed killing her husband.
SELMER, Tenn. (AP) -- Members of the congregation planted flowers Saturday outside the Fourth Street Church of Christ as they waited for their minister's wife to be brought home to face first-degree murder charges in the death of her husband.
The gardening project and a spring cleanup had been planned weeks ago by The Rev. Matthew Winkler, the 31-year-old minister who was shot to death at the parsonage he shared with his wife, Mary, and their three young children.
"We're doing this because Matthew wanted us to," church member James Turner said as he dug a spade into the dark soil of a flower bed. "It keeps us busy," said Jimmie Smith, a retired counselor.
"Listen, the Mary we knew didn't do this," Anita Whirley said as she planted purple, yellow and red pansies. "She was a wonderful person. We just don't understand."
Police found Mary Winkler, 32, and her daughters late Thursday about 340 miles from home in Orange Beach, Ala., where she had rented a condo.
Facing murder charge
Police said she confessed the killing and was charged Friday with first-degree murder, a crime that requires premeditation.
Authorities refused to disclose a motive.
She did not resist extradition, and McNairy County deputy sheriffs picked her up Saturday at the Baldwin County, Ala., jail.
The Rev. Mr. Winkler was found dead in a bedroom at the couple's home in Selmer after church members went looking for him because he did not appear for a service. The parsonage is about two miles from the church in a quiet, heavily wooded neighborhood.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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