Attorneys for Mary Winkler Say Client Had 'Life Threatening Experience'

This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," August 14, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: With one single gunshot prosecutors say Mary Winkler killed her preacher husband but what everyone wants to know is why. Why would Winkler tear apart her seemingly happy family? But was Mary Winkler really happy or was her life not as picture perfect as it might have seemed?

Joining us from Memphis, Tennessee are Mary Winkler's lawyers, Leslie Ballum and Steve Farise, Steve, your client in or out tonight because I know that she's got a bond and she's struggling to make that bond to get out of jail?

STEVE FARISE, ATTORNEY FOR MARY WINKLER: In tonight, out tomorrow, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Steve, what's the delay because this has been going on for a couple days?

FARISE: Well, I think because it's such a large bond and this is such a rural area that the judges want to make absolutely sure that all the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed. They're going by the statute or, should I say, by the book to make sure everything is proper. We've been jumping through hoops all week and hopefully we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

VAN SUSTEREN: Leslie, there was a public hearing on the record so it's no surprise to anybody but if you weren't in the courtroom it was a motion to throw out a statement that she made, allegedly made to the police upon her arrest. What is the statement? What's the content of the statement that she — that police say she made to them?

LESLIE BALLUM, ATTORNEY FOR MARY WINKLER: Well, it was given to an Alabama Bureau of Investigation agent, a Corporal Stabler (ph). It was given on March 23rd about 10:00 p.m. just two and a half hours after she was arrested.

Corporal Stabler did a magnificent job in interviewing her. He was very professional, courteous. He was trying to illicit information from Mary Carol about not only what happened but why it happened.

VAN SUSTEREN: And what did she — what did he say on the record she said?

BALLUM: Well, she did not want to talk about why. She didn't want to talk badly about her husband. She didn't do it in life and she was persisting in that closed mouth, if you will, and not talking bad about him after his death. She did not want his name smeared in public.

VAN SUSTEREN: Leslie, I know that both of you only talk about what's public and on the record that we could dig up elsewhere so let me ask you this. Was there any sort of explanation given or presented in court as to whether or not this was an unhappy marriage?

BALLUM: There was an explanation given. At one point in the interview Mary Carol talked about a life-threatening event of some six years earlier. She went on to further explain that as of the year preceding March 22nd, the date of the event that things had gotten bad again. So, she talked about her life being threatened. She talked about things being bad.

VAN SUSTEREN: Leslie, so what was it? What was — I mean, not Leslie, Steve, what was it? What was bad?

FARISE: Well, their situation was bad. As Leslie has talked about there was a situation some years ago. She only spoke in general terms because she was being very careful to protect her husband. But it was very clear to us, as it was to the interviewers that something terribly wrong had occurred and she again was trying to protect him, so she didn't go into any details. In fact, at times she said things like "Let me be the bad person in this."

VAN SUSTEREN: Steve, in terms of her, I mean what's she like when you talk to her?

FARISE: Well she's gotten considerably better over time. She is certainly completely lucid now, as was not the case when we first met with her. She is hopeful that she is going to get out. She is concerned primarily about her children. That's what she wants to talk about every time we're there. So, I think she is reality based as far as her thinking is going.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right and so tomorrow Mary Winkler may be out on bond pending trial. Leslie, Steve, thank you both.

FARISE: Thank you, Greta.

BALLUM: Thank you.

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