Transcript for Young Mom Shoots Intruder
An extraordinary case of -- mother -- protective instinct. Eighteen year old Sarah McKinley was home alone on New Year's Eve with her baby her husband had died the week before cancer. When two men tried to break again. She then made two fateful decisions she picked up a shotgun. And she picked up the telephone and called 911 and ask for permission to fire here's ABC's Brian Owens. It starts like a classic horror movie a young mother alone -- their baby. Nothing around but the lonely plains of Oklahoma. When the family dog growls at the -- war. -- trying to tell me something so I looked out the door and saw that it was that -- That man was a 24 year old who -- McKinley believed was stalking her. Police say he was -- armed with a twelve inch hunting knife and he wasn't alone. Detectives say he was would this friend the duo was trying to break down the -- war. I got the twelve gauge and can proceeded to walk back to the bedroom when my son he was crying at the -- -- had a bottle in this -- -- in the -- I got a pistol and call 910 myself from. Again I'm not a complaint and could maybe -- can't -- -- immediately call held on. Since she lives in the middle of nowhere that would take -- For twenty terrifying minutes she waited as the intruders tried everything to knock down her door. The noise. The -- thing of the doors Finland Ford than any part. That was the scary -- wondering which time me that was going to be the -- he -- and. I'm kind of got concurrent in my hands that are consistent -- Content or -- he had to do whatever you can go to protect yourself I can tell you that you can do that that you do what you have to do to protect your baby. I was gonna have to choose camera my son and they're living in -- my friend so. I did what I had to do. The second he broke down the door she shot and killed them is alleged accomplice ran away but later turned himself then. Police called a shooting justified. You're allowed to shoot an unauthorized person. That is in your -- Oklahoma is one of thirty states with something called the castle doctrine. Basically your house -- your castle and you have the right to kill to protect yourself. Other states require a homeowner to try to retreat or escape before using deadly force. Southern Methodist university law professor Jeffrey Dillon explains the distinction. So if you can safely retreat from the situation we're gonna ask you to do that as opposed to respond especially deadly force and if you don't. Then -- could be prosecuted. Although he couldn't think of a single example where an American homeowner who killed an intruder. Ended up in prison -- bottom line is if you decide to prosecute a homeowner. Who shoot somebody who's breaking into their home. At some point that has to go before a jury hearing -- judge and there's going to be a lot of sympathy for that homeowner right in fact many cases that do get prosecuted don't even make it past the grand jury states that's what happened in 2007. In Texas. Got a shot. The only to stop no don't do that. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- A retired computer engineer is watching two men break again not his home. But he is neighbors. -- I -- -- gala -- and take it can't have been killed so notes and share. I'm gonna shoot. The 911 operator begs him not to. But what appeared -- that it. It a shot gun click and I'm going. Let's. Then excelled on the tape is the man shooting and killing those two burglars. Even in that case where the homeowner was protecting his neighbor's home a Texas grand jury refused to indict him. In Sarah -- in Lee's case police say she's legally in the clear. Our conscience is too. I would do it again. Not because -- -- to those who can defend my friend. -- young mother fiercely protecting her child. There's nothing more dangerous than a mom with her baby. I'm -- Owens for Nightline. In Dallas.
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