This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," March 30, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: A bizarre twist in an already very disturbing case. Today in court, Mary Winkler, a teacher accused of shooting her minister-husband, didn't ask to be let out on bond. She also did not demand that the prosecution present evidence to detain her. Why?
Joining us live out of Memphis, Tennessee, are Mary Winkler's defense attorneys, Leslie Ballin and Steve Farese.
Leslie, why didn't you have a preliminary hearing today, which would have required the prosecution to lay out part of its case?
LESLIE BALLIN, MARY WINKLER'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Didn't need it. We knew what the charges were. We anticipated what the prosecution was going to put on, as far as proof. We had talked to the prosecutor about giving us some early discovery, which she graciously agreed to do. Plus, there were some other issues concerning what the proof was going to be.
Mr. Winkler has recently been buried. The grieving continues and will continue for a long, long time to come. For that family to hear details of what happened just wasn't going to do any good, especially for those three young kids.
VAN SUSTEREN: Steve, typically, a preliminary hearing is an opportunity for the defense to get a little tip as to what the prosecution case is. If you get, as Leslie says, a sort of exchange of early information from the prosecution, you're better off not to go forward with the preliminary hearing. Do you have the better end of this deal? Is the prosecution giving you more information that than you likely would have gotten today?
STEVE FARESE, MARY WINKLER'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, we certainly anticipated more information than we were likely to have gotten. And so far, we've certainly gotten less. But we have gotten some important information, and with this information, we can now start to prepare our case because what we did get was a key piece of information.
VAN SUSTEREN: Steve, if I saw your client in the cellblock today and I had a conversation, what would be my impression of her?
FARESE: Your impression would be of someone that's, at this point in time, very withdrawn, very reserved, having difficulty understanding your questions contextually, the deer in the headlight sort of look.
VAN SUSTEREN: Leslie, do you agree with that? That would be sort of the sense I'd have if I spoke to her?
BALLIN: Yes. And she is at times lost in space. You talk to her, she doesn't follow a lot of the theme, the subject mater that you're wanting to talk about. And she's kind of bewildered at times.
VAN SUSTEREN: Leslie, I take it that you or Steve or somebody at least explained to her what a preliminary hearing was today so that she could either have one or give it up. When she didn't have a preliminary hearing, did she understand what she was giving up?
BALLIN: It was our opinion both after speaking with her, that she understood that, and we were comfortable with presenting to the judge our request — actually, Mary Carol's request — to be allowed to waive the preliminary hearing.
VAN SUSTEREN: Steve, have you gotten the autopsy report yet?
FARESE: We have not seen the autopsy report. However, I have heard some reports on other shows about the autopsy. It seems to me there's nothing remarkable about it.
VAN SUSTEREN: So I take it, Leslie, that this case was sort of — will have a sort of a usual criminal course, meaning that it now goes to the grand jury. The grand jury will hear evidence and then vote to indict or not. Is that the course you anticipate?
BALLIN: It is. We've been advised that the grand jury in this county will meet in June. An indictment certainly will be returned. What the indictment charges her with certainly is yet to be determined. However, my experience is that the grand jury will return what is requested by the prosecutor. And then, from what I understand about the judge's docket in that county, we can look for an October trial date.
VAN SUSTEREN: Leslie, there are all sorts of kinds of prosecutors, but defense attorneys will have some that they think are looking for blood, so to speak. Is this an aggressive prosecutor or is it one you think that will, you know, consider lots of options when you go to her or to him?
BALLIN: I think you're going to get a different answer from me than you're going to get from Steve, if you ask him the same question. We've both known Betsy Rice for many, many years. She is a tough, nose-to-nose type prosecutor. I've always had good experiences with her. It's my understanding that her term will expire in August and she does not plan to seek reelection. So when this case goes to trial, somebody else is going to be in charge from their side.
VAN SUSTEREN: Assuming that it actually does go to trial. Lots of options between now and then.
Leslie, Steve, thank you both.
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