Attorney: Blanchard Mother Has The Right To Shoot Intruder

Monday, January 2nd 2012, 7:41 pm
By: News 9

Chris McKinnon, News 9

BLANCHARD, Oklahoma -- A lawyer says the young mother who shot and killed an intruder this weekend was in the right, and police say so far, they have no reason to question her actions.

12/31/2011 Related Story: Blanchard Mother Shoots, Kills Suspect In Home Invasion

Legal experts weighed in Monday on the events that led up to a deadly shooting, at a house near Blanchard on Saturday. An 18-year old mother, Sarah McKinley, made a split-second decision that could have saved her and her baby's life.

News 9 spoke with McKinley's mother Monday morning who says Sarah had been living in the house for more than two years. Police say it looks like she had every right in pulling the trigger.

"The Oklahoma laws are clear on the home and the right to your home are absolute," Detective Dan Huff with the Blanchard Police Department explained.

Sarah McKinley was on the phone with 911, while 24-year old Justin Martin tried to break into her home. She shot and killed Martin after he busted through the front door.

"They said I couldn't shoot him until he was inside the house," said Sarah McKinley. "So I waited until he got in the door and then I shot him."

1/1/2012 Related Story: Blanchard Mother Who Shot, Killed Intruder Recalls Home Invasion Terror

Attorney Doug Friesen says no matter what the circumstances, the Make My Day Law protects someone in their home.

"The simple fact that you're unauthorized in the home is enough that allows the homeowner to use deadly force," said Friesen. "Without ascertaining whether there is a weapon involved or not."

Based on what he knows about this incident, it looks like McKinley did the right thing.

"We don't know what they were prepared to do, but then they can do whatever they want to do with her, without that gun to even things up," Friesen said.

A second suspect, 29-year-old Dustin Stewart, is still in jail.

"We'll review the case with the District Attorney and they'll make a decision on what charges to file," Det. Huff said.

The Grady County District Attorney was not available for comment Monday, but McKinley's mother said that Justin Martin actually followed her daughter around at a rodeo about two years ago.

She also said McKinley bumped into him recently at a convenience store. Then he showed up knocking on her door Thursday night, introducing himself as a neighbor. McKinley told her mother she did not know who he was until she pieced it all together after the shooting.