Slain pastor's widow defends suspect's prosecutor -

Slain pastor's widow defends suspect's prosecutor

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) -- The widow of a southwestern Illinois pastor slain in church stands behind the prosecutor's handling of the suspect who's been deemed mentally unfit to stand trial.

Cindy Winters' defense of Madison County State's Attorney William Mudge comes after a former prosecutor criticized Mudge for not seeking the death penalty against Terry Sedlacek.

Don Weber says he's offering to prosecute Sedlacek in the March 8 killing of the Rev. Fred Winters at the First Baptist Church of Maryville.

Weber says Mudge should have been more aggressive in challenging Sedlacek's being declared mentally unfit for trial.

Mudge, however, says he stands by his earlier assurance that his office is ready to prosecute Sedlacek if the suspect responds to treatment.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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