(BLANCHARD, Okla.) — The young Oklahoma mother who shot and killed an intruder to protect her 3-month-old son on New Year’s Eve will not face criminal charges.
Prosecutors have instead charged the intruder’s alleged accomplice, 29-year-old Dustin Stewart, with first-degree murder in the death of his friend, Justin Shane Martin, 24.
Police said the two men broke into 18-year-old Sarah McKinley’s mobile home in Blanchard, Okla., the evening of Dec. 31, while the young widow was home with her baby. McKinley’s husband had died the week before, on Christmas Day, of lung cancer.
McKinley told police that Martin had stopped by the house on the day of her husband’s funeral claiming he was a neighbor who wanted to say hello.
On New Year’s Eve, Stewart joined Martin, who this time was armed with a 12-inch hunting knife. Police said the two men may have been high on prescription painkillers and looking for more drugs in McKinley’s home.
As one of the men went from door to door outside her home trying to gain entry, McKinley told ABC News’ Oklahoma City affiliate KOCO that she quickly got her 12 gauge, went into her bedroom and got a pistol, put a bottle in the baby’s mouth and called 911.
“I’ve got two guns in my hand. Is it OK to shoot him if he comes in this door?” the young mother asked the 911 dispatcher. “I’m here by myself with my infant baby. Can I please get a dispatcher out here immediately?”
The 911 dispatcher confirmed with McKinley that the doors to her home were locked as McKinley asked again if it was OK to shoot the intruder if he came through her door.
“I can’t tell you that you can do that, but you do what you have to do to protect your baby,” the dispatcher told her. McKinley was on the phone with 911 for 21 minutes.
When Martin kicked in the door, the young mother shot and killed him. According to court documents, Martin was holding a knife when he died.
Authorities called McKinley’s actions justified because she clearly acted in self-defense. Oklahoma law permits the use of deadly force against intruders.
Stewart, who ran away from McKinley’s home after hearing the gunshots but later turned himself in to police, was charged in Martin’s death.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chandra Johnson, Deseret News