Mary Winkler receives custody of children

Published: Aug. 1, 2008 at 8:53 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2008 at 1:54 AM CDT
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Mary Winkler
Mary Winkler

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Selmer, Tennessee woman convicted last year of killing her preacher husband has been given custody of her three daughters, Action News 5 has learned.

Sources say Friday afternoon Mary Winkler picked up her three girls from the parents of her husband, Matthew Winkler, and took them to her current residence in Smithville, Tennessee.

The judge in Winkler's custody case allowed her to take the children, even though a court order is not yet in place for her to have permanent custody.

Winkler has spent months locked in a bitter custody battle over the children with Matthew's parents, Dan and Dianne Winkler, who were given temporary custody of the girls in 2006 when Mary was arrested for shooting Matthew.

Mary Winkler was later convicted of voluntary manslaughter in her husband's death.  The bitter custody battle over her children began not long after she was released from jail.

As the two sides battled over custody of the children, Dan and Dianne Winkler filed appeals in an effort to stop Mary from having supervised visits and phone calls with her daughters.

Sources tell Action News 5 that Matthew Winkler's parents will likely still get to see the girls.

Mary Winkler spoke publicly for the first time about her children at a custody hearing in May.
"I'm able to be with them, and we're moving forward to get back together and make our family, and just love each other and take care of each other," she said on May 16.

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