9-Year-Old Preacher's Daughter Heard Father's Fatal Shooting

Selmer, Tenn. (AP) -- Defense attorneys are expected to begin calling witnesses today in the trial of a preacher's wife accused of murdering her husband.

Defense attorney Leslie Ballin has hinted Mary Winkler could take the stand.

The prosecution rested its case Monday after four days of testimony, including testimony from the couple's 9-year-old daughter.

Patricia Winkler told prosecutors she found her father laying face down on the floor of the bedroom on the morning of the murder.

Matthew Winkler, a popular 31-year-old preacher at the Fourth Street Church of Christ, was found dead in his parsonage by church members last March. Mary Winkler was arrested a day later with the couple's three children in Alabama.

Patricia Winkler testified that she heard a big boom and then the sound of someone falling on the ground.

Mary Winkler cried during her daughter's testimony, along with several jurors.

Prosecutors have described Matthew Winkler as a good father and husband. But the defense has said the evidence will show he was a dictator at home who terrorized his family and criticized his wife's every move.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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