This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," March 27, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: A nightmare for a small-town Tennessee church. Police say Mary Winkler admitted fatally shooting her minister husband last week and then fleeing with their three little girls. But do police know why she shot him? The 32-year-old schoolteacher was in court today, but she did not enter a plea.
Joining us life from Memphis, Tennessee, is Mark Winkler's defense attorney, Steve Farese. Welcome, Steve.
STEVE FARESE, MARY WINKLER'S ATTORNEY: Hi, Greta. How are you?
VAN SUSTEREN: Very well. Steve, why was she in court today? Because I know there wasn't an issue about bail. What was the purpose of today's hearing?
FARESE: The purpose is to get her in front of a magistrate as soon as possible. She was brought back to Tennessee on Saturday, and they were trying to get her in front of a magistrate as soon as possible, to have him read her the charges, to make sure she knew what her rights were.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know her, or is this simply you've met her because she's a client? I mean, is the community small enough so that you've ever met her before?
FARESE: I don't live in that community. A friend of mine here in Memphis, an attorney, is related to them, and he called me Thursday evening and asked me to get involved.
VAN SUSTEREN: So how much time have you actually been able to spend with her? A little time over the weekend and today, is that about all?
FARESE: That's correct. Saturday, a small amount of time Saturday night. Sunday, about an hour-and-a-half, and about a half hour today.
VAN SUSTEREN: How's she doing?
FARESE: She's not doing that well, but you know, under the circumstances, I guess she's doing as well as can be expected. She's very reserved, very quiet, almost meek. And it's hard to get her to follow your questions and to not get off into minutiae.
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, I'm careful not to ask you questions that would violate attorney-client privilege because I know you're going to tell me you can't answer them, so I'm sort of dancing around the issue. But I mean, do you get the sense that this is a client that you'll be able to work with, that it's going to be an easy relationship for you?
FARESE: You know, Greta, some clients you really want to work with, other clients you want the jury to see them as they are. So I don't know where I am on that yet.
VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of the media, when you went to the courthouse today, how was the media? A tremendous amount outside?
FARESE: Well, for a country boy like myself, it was a tremendous amount of media, so the most I've ever seen in any case I've been involved in.
VAN SUSTEREN: How about the public who showed up? Did people who know your client, did they show up in the courtroom today?
FARESE: I understood that people that knew her did show up. I did not concentrate on the audience, mainly because there were so many media there, and we were trying to get through with the hearing as quickly as possible and to get on with other things.
VAN SUSTEREN: Now, the police are saying — or at least it's leaked out, reported, however you want to characterize it — that she has admitted to shooting her husband. Can you confirm that or make any statement about that?
FARESE: You know, saying it doesn't make it so. Until I see it, until I hear it, until I read it — at that time, I'll know it exists, but I still may not believe it, or I may not know what method it was elicited.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are you far enough along in your relationship with her that you've actually had a chance to talk about what she's accused of, or are you simply at the state where you're telling her what she can expect in terms of court and that kind of thing?
FARESE: I'm in the very early stages of getting to know her, winning her trust, making sure that she knows that someone is out there fighting for her, and that it's someone who, hopefully, knows what he's doing.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think she'll be able to help you?
FARESE: I do think she will be able to help me, but I think we're going to have to peel some lawyers off first.
VAN SUSTEREN: I understand there's a court appearance on Thursday, is that right, Steve?
FARESE: That's correct. It'll be a preliminary hearing, where they just have to show probable cause.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So they show probable cause that a crime has been committed, that she committed it. And then does it get sent to the grand jury in Tennessee? Is that the way it works?
FARESE: That's correct. That's correct, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: And what's the docket like in your state? When would you expect, if she's indicted, that there would be a trial?
FARESE: Well, it's different in different districts. Of course, in some of the less populated districts, they still have a crowded docket because of proliferation of drugs, especially meth. But I would think this case would not be heard for several months.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Steve. Thank you. And of course, we're following it. I hope you'll come back.
FARESE: All right. Thank you so much, Greta.
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