US & Canada

No charges for US widow Sarah McKinley who killed intruder

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Media captionSarah McKinley: "There's nothing more dangerous than a mother with her baby"

A US woman who shot dead an intruder after asking the emergency services for permission will not face charges, but the man's alleged accomplice will.

Widow Sarah McKinley, 18, was at home with her baby on New Year's Eve when 24 year-old Justin Martin broke in, armed with a knife.

Prosecutors in Blanchard, Oklahoma say she shot Martin in self-defence.

Martin's alleged accomplice in the break-in, Dustin Stewart, has been charged with his murder.

In a tape released to the media of the emergency 911 call, Mrs McKinley can be heard asking the operator: "I've got two guns in my hand. Is it OK to shoot him if he comes in this door?"

The operator responds: "Well you have to do whatever you can to protect yourself. I can't tell you that you can do that, but you have to do what you have to do to protect your baby".

Oklahoma law allows deadly force to be used against intruders.

"Our initial review of the case doesn't indicate that she violated the law in any way," Oklahoma's assistant district attorney told The Oklahoman newspaper.

Image caption Dustin Stewart has been charged with first degree murder

Home 'targeted'

The man alleged to be the second intruder, Dustin Stewart, has been charged with first-degree murder, because police say Martin's death was caused by their attempt to carry out the burglary.

Sarah McKinley's 58-year-old husband died of cancer on Christmas Day, only a week before the incident.

The police say the two men knew about this and targeted her home hoping to find prescription drugs.

Mr Stewart told police he ran away when he heard gun shots.

He also told the police he believed Martin was addicted to prescription medication, local media say.

Mrs McKinley said she would not have shot Martin, except to protect her baby.

"He was from door to door trying to bust in, just going from door to door," she told NBC television.

"They said I couldn't shoot him til he was inside the house, so I waited til he got in the door and then I shot him."

"You have to make a choice, you or him and I chose my son over him," she said.

"There's nothing more dangerous than a mother with her baby."