Murder in the Family: Mark Winger Kills Donnah Winger

Donnah Winger

Mark Winger murdered his wife, Donnah Winger, on March 31st, 2016 in their home in Orlando Florida. They were married for 15 years, and there were no known warning signs that anything was wrong until the police arrived at their home to find Mark with blood on his shirt and hands, standing over the body of his wife, dead from multiple stab wounds to her chest. Her daughters were asleep in their rooms when they heard the attack and discovered Mark standing over their mother when they came out to investigate what had happened.

Who Is Mark Winger?

Mark Winger is a man with a troubled past. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder at an early age and spent much of his life bouncing between mental institutions, jail cells, and homeless shelters. Mark was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after he lost his mother to suicide when he was only 13 years old. Mark’s family history of mental illness is what experts believe may have led to the events that transpired at his house on January 9th, 1990.
Mark’s wife Donnah Winger would often be left alone at home while her husband worked three jobs to make ends meet for their family. One day, she got a call from one of Mark’s work friends asking if she knew where he was as he had not shown up for work that morning.
She searched all over the house but could find no trace of him until she looked out back and saw Mark hiding under their boat. When she tried to talk to him, he refused to say anything other than leave me alone. They say it was during this time that something snapped inside Mark Winger and he became consumed by rage. One month later on February 10th, 1990, they found his wife murdered in their living room stabbed over twenty times.

How did this Happen?

In January of this year, Mark Winger murdered his wife. The two were married for 20 years and had three children together. There was no history of violence prior to the murder, so it’s unclear what led to it. It is possible that Mark had an affair and Donnah found out about it but there is no evidence to support this theory at this time.
Mark has since been charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bail pending trial. He has pleaded not guilty, stating that he was simply acting in self-defense after an argument turned violent. Mark’s legal team will have to prove there is a preponderance of evidence against him while the prosecution tries to show he acted intentionally and without provocation.
Mark Winger might face 25 years to life if convicted; however, this could be reduced based on certain mitigating factors. Mark Winger plead not guilty, claiming he only killed her in self-defense. Though the prosecutors are trying to prove otherwise, Mark may end up with a much lower sentence due to various mitigating factors.

The Aftermath

Mark Winger, who killed his wife and then tried to commit suicide on November 14, 2009, was found guilty of murder after a two-day trial. In his opening argument to jurors, prosecutor Christopher T. Tortorice said that Mark took great pains to cover up the crime scene and that he left behind an awful lot of evidence. He also said that Mark’s story about what happened was inconsistent with the facts.
Mark’s defense attorney, David Weissman countered by saying there was no motive for his client to kill Donnah Winger.
He claimed that they were happily married and had been discussing having children soon before she died. He also pointed out inconsistencies between testimony from witnesses and what they initially told police. The most glaring inconsistency came from Mark’s girlfriend, Sarah Jensen, who said she saw Donnah Winger sitting upright and moving her mouth in response to Mark when she arrived at their house following the shooting. But photographs taken shortly after the shooting show her lying face down on the couch with her head obscured by a pillow.
Mark Winger Murdered His Wife

What could Have Been Done to Prevent This from Happening?

I was shocked when I heard that a man murdered his wife and then killed himself. The sad thing is that it wasn’t much of a surprise. It happened all too often these days, and it’s even more shocking when you find out who did it.
Mark Winger, one of the most famous bass players in country music, had been abusing his wife for years, but nobody knew about it until now because he hid her so well. The only reason he turned himself in is because he wanted to make sure she would be able to live on with dignity after what he had done to her and their family.


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