Daughter, 9, describes preacher’s slaying

SELMER, Tennessee (AP) — The 9-year-old daughter of a Tennessee preacher’s wife testified Monday at her mother’s murder trial that she heard a “big boom” coming from her parents’ room, then saw her father on the ground.

“I went to mama and daddy’s room to see what had happened. I saw daddy laying on the floor face down,” Patricia Winkler said.

The girl kept her composure as she described her father’s death, but just after taking the stand, she looked to her mother, Mary, and started crying when the prosecutor asked her for her name and birthday. Mary Winkler and several jurors also began weeping.

Matthew Winkler, a 31-year-old preacher at the Fourth Street Church of Christ in this west Tennessee town, was found dead in the parsonage where the family lived in March 2006. A day later, Mary Winkler was arrested on the Alabama coast 340 miles away, driving in the family minivan with Patricia and her two younger sisters.

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