Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

A "Perfect" Life: Mary Winkler Story

Foreman Speaks

Outside court before the sentencing hearing, jury foreman Bill Berry gave Court TV an unusually blunt assessment of the trial and his fellow jurors.

He said the jury leaned heavily in favor of Mrs. Winkler due to the "10 ladies" seated on the jury.

"I don't think justice was done," said Berry. "It's the times we're living in. People are getting away with murder today."

He called the gender makeup of the jury "unbalanced" and "unfair."

He said that after the first seven hours of deliberations, nine of the 10 women appeared ready to vote for acquittal. They "wanted her to just walk free," Berry said.

He said the verdict of voluntary manslaughter was a compromise.

"We had to settle on something," he said.

Berry said he believed Winkler was "not completely" truthful when she testified to physical, sexual and mental abuse at the hands of her husband. He said he doubted the physical abuse and was not sure about sexual abuse, but he conceded there may have been mental abuse.

Berry said he had hoped Judge McCraw would sentence Winkler to the maximum time in prison, and he said she "doesn't deserve" to regain custody of her daughters.

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