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Mom Kills Intruder, Dead Man's Alleged Accomplice Faces Murder Charge

The story of how 18-year-old Sarah Dawn McKinley shot and killed a man who authorities say was breaking into her house on Saturday has been getting lots of attention because of the 911 phone call she made and the already tragic circumstances surrounding the incident.

McKinley, of Blanchard, Okla., called 911 to say that a man was trying to get inside her mobile home and that she feared for her life and that of her 3-month-old son. She asked the 911 operator if she could shoot him if he got inside.

"I've got two guns in my hand, is it OK to shoot him if he comes in this door?" she asked, as Oklahoma City's KFOR-TV reports.

"Well you have to do whatever you can do to protect yourself. I can't tell you that you can do that. But you do what you have to do to protect your baby," dispatcher Diane Graham told her.

Justin Martin, 24, did break in and was killed when McKinley fired her shotgun, authorities say.

McKinley was home alone with the baby because her husband had died just a week earlier, on Christmas Day, from cancer. She told authorities that she feared Martin was stalking her.

Now there's this legal twist: According to The Oklahoman, "the dead man's [alleged] accomplice in the home invasion is being implicated in his death." Authorities say Dustin Louis Stewart, 29, was with Martin and was also trying to break into the home.

"When you're engaged in a crime such as first-degree burglary and a death results from the events of that crime, you're subject to prosecution for it," Grady County Assistant District Attorney James Walters told the newspaper.

McKinley is not going to face charges, the Oklahoman adds:

"Walters said he has listened to the 911 recording and that McKinley acted within her rights in shooting Martin.

" 'All I can tell you from what was told on the recording was that she asked if she could shoot if they entered the house, and the dispatcher advised her that she couldn't tell her what to do, that she needed to do what was necessary to protect her family.' "

ABC News' Good Morning America has a video report here.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.