Originally created 06/13/06

Across the Southeast

Slain pastor's wife is indicted in death

SELMER, TENN. - The wife of a minister who was shot to death in his church's parsonage was indicted Monday on a charge of premeditated murder.

Mary Winkler, indicted by a McNairy County grand jury, has been in custody since the day after the March 22 slaying of Matthew Winkler. Authorities have said she confessed, but they haven't disclosed a motive.

Mr. Winkler, 31, a minister at the Church of Christ, was found dead in his bedroom after he didn't show up for a service.

His 32-year-old wife and the couple's young daughters were found the next night in Orange Beach, Ala.

Ms. Winkler has not entered a plea and is in jail in Selmer, about 80 miles east of Memphis.

Defense closes case in corruption trial

MONTGOMERY, ALA. - Defense teams in the federal government corruption case against former Gov. Don Siegelman, ex-HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy and two others rested their cases Monday in rapid succession after spending a little more than a day calling witnesses.

Mr. Siegelman's attorney, Vince Kilbourn, did not call any witnesses and rested shortly after attorneys for Mr. Scrushy and Mr. Siegelman's former chief of staff, Paul Hamrick, had wrapped up their cases.

Earlier Monday, the defense for former state transportation Director Mack Roberts, which had begun its rebuttal Friday afternoon, did the same. None of the four defendants was called to testify.

The short defense presentations came after prosecutors had spent six weeks trying to prove that Mr. Siegelman traded government favors for gifts and campaign contributions when he was governor and lieutenant governor from 1995 to 2003.

Environmentalists fight plan for Interstate 3

KNOXVILLE, TENN. - An environmental group has started a campaign against the proposed Interstate 3 through Georgia and east Tennessee, saying the road would make air quality and traffic worse.

The Harvey Broome Group of the Sierra Club is working on petitions and resolutions from county commissions and city councils against I-3.

The 450-mile highway would start in Savannah, Ga., and run through the mountains of Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee before connecting to Interstate 75 in Knoxville. Officials have estimated it would cost about $50 billion.

- Edited from wire reports


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