Crime - Sacto 911

Testimony ends in trial of Cameron Park man accused of murdering wife

Testimony concluded Thursday in the murder trial of Todd Winkler, and jurors are expected to begin deliberating Tuesday.

Winkler, 47, a former Air Force fighter pilot and pharmaceutical executive, is charged with murdering his wife, Rachel, 37, with a pair of scissors in their Cameron Park home on Feb. 27, 2012.

The defense rested Thursday after a second day of testimony from Dr. Frank Lossy, a psychiatrist who asserted that Winkler was suffering from multiple psychiatric disorders when he killed Rachel Winkler. Defense attorney David Weiner has argued that Winkler killed his wife in self-defense in the throes of a psychiatric episode.

The prosecution later Thursday brought a rebuttal witness, Abbott Laboratories executive Eric Davis, who testified that Winkler once faked an episode of cancer as he faced a deadline on a work assignment.

El Dorado Superior Court Judge Kenneth J. Melikian said he hopes that attorneys will be ready to present closing arguments on Tuesday morning.

Before excusing jurors midday Thursday, Melikian told the panel: “You will start deliberations, hopefully, on Tuesday afternoon.”

The trial has been marked by intense testimony from Winkler on the killing and his emotional state in addition to testimony from James White, 46, of Rescue, a former handyman at the Cameron Airpark who was having an affair with Rachel Winkler, the air park manager.

Prosecutors also presented witnesses who questioned inconsistencies in Todd Winkler’s stories about a fiery crash on a remote Georgia road that killed Winkler’s previous wife, Catherine Winkler, 32. Winkler told investigators he was tossed from the vehicle while his wife rushed him to the hospital for an insect bite. He later collected nearly $1.2 million in insurance settlements.

Call The Bee’s Peter Hecht, (916) 326-5539.

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