Jury convicts wife of preacher in his slaying

Jury convicts wife ofpreacher in his slaying
SELMER, Tenn. -- A preacher's wife who claimed her husband abused her was convicted of voluntary manslaughter Thursday for killing him with a shotgun she said fired accidentally as she aimed at him. Mary Winkler showed no emotion as the verdict was read. Prosecutors had sought a first-degree murder conviction, but the jury settled on the lesser charge after deliberating for eight hours. She faces three to six years in prison but would be eligible for parole after serving about a third of the sentence. If Winkler, 33, had been convicted of first- or second-degree murder, she would have gone to prison for at least 12 years and maybe for the rest of her life. Her lawyers said Mary Winkler's testimony was decisive. Matthew Winkler, a 31-year-old preacher at the Fourth Street Church of Christ, was found in the church parsonage shot in his back in March 2006. One day later, his wife was arrested on the Alabama coast, driving the family minivan with their three young daughters.
Nor'easter damage totals
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Damage from a brutal nor'easter will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to repair, authorities said Thursday. The storm left a swath of devastation from the beaches of South Carolina to the mountains of Maine. It knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people and is being blamed for at least 18 deaths nationwide. Disaster response teams fanned out across the Northeast, cataloguing damage to public and private property. In just one northern New Jersey county, Bergen, the toll was estimated at 300 million alone. "The water is not so much the problem now as the cleanup," said Brian Hague, a spokesman for Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney.
Was tainting of pet fooddeliberate? FDA probes
WASHINGTON -- Imported ingredients used in recalled pet food may have been intentionally spiked with an industrial chemical to boost their apparent protein content, federal officials said Thursday. That's one theory being pursued by the Food and Drug Administration as it investigates how the chemical, melamine, contaminated at least two ingredients used to make more than 100 brands of dog and cat foods. So far, melamine's been found in both wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate imported from China. Media reports from South Africa suggest a third pet food ingredient, corn gluten, used in that country also was contaminated with melamine. That tainted ingredient has not been found in the United States, the FDA said. FDA investigators, meanwhile, are awaiting visas that would allow them to visit the Chinese plants where the vegetable protein ingredients were produced.
Drug raid hits Indian tribe
MELVILLE, N.Y. -- Fed up with illegal drug and gun dealing by members of their own tribe, Shinnecock leaders invited police to launch an investigation that authorities said culminated Thursday in an unusual, high-powered raid that broke up a "major narcotics distribution network." The early morning raid by Suffolk County detectives, state troopers, federal Drug Enforcement Administration and Secret Service agents resulted in 14 arrests, including the son of tribal trustee Lance A. Gumbs, according to state police. The Shinnecock Nation's tribal trustees, including Gumbs, said the police action took place "with our consent on our lands ... and causes pain to us all." About 120 agents swooped down on eight homes and one business including four homes on the Shinnecock reservation on the eastern end of Long Island and one each in Hampton Bays, Shirley, Mastic Beach and Mastic.
Helen Walton, 87, widow of Wal-Mart founder, dies
BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Helen Robson Walton, widow of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, died Thursday evening at her home, the company said in a news release. She was 87. Walton was surrounded by family members when she died of natural causes, the company said.
Combined dispatches