Media Circus Around ‘The Make My Day Mom’ Ignores A Tough Decision

Even cops and soldiers say the first time they kill someone is tough, sobering, painful, and sometimes hard to get over. This is as it should be, for as humans we are hopefully conditioned to respect life. So it’s bizarre and confusing to find the media glorifying the “Make My Day Mom” killing of a young intruder.

On the phone with dispatch for over 20 minutes before police arrived, 18-year-old widow Sarah McKinley shot and killed a 24-year-old man who was breaking into her Oklahoma mobile home, but it’s his accomplice who is being charged with murder.

Sarah McKinley, who had married her husband in November of 2011, and had a three month old baby boy named Justin, had just lost her 58 year old husband to lung cancer on Christmas day when on New Years Eve day, she heard someone aggressively knocking on her doors. She grabbed her 12 gauge shot gun and a pistol, put a bottle in her baby’s mouth and called 911.

Watch here:

Transcript from Daily Mail:

DISPATCHER: What’s going on?
SARAH MCKINLEY: There’s a guy at my door. I’ve got some dogs that keep coming up missing. This guy’s up to no good. My husband just passed away. I’m here by myself with my infant baby. Can I please get a dispatch out here immediately?
DISPATCHER: Hang with me a second. Are your doors locked?
SARAH MCKINLEY: Yes, I’ve got two guns in my hands. Is it okay to shoot him if he comes in this door?
DISPATCHER: 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. Is he trying to get in the door?
SARAH MCKINLEY: He just keeps knocking.
DISPATCHER: Okay. Alright. Do you have like an alarm on your car that you can set off with your remote control that might scare him and get him away?
DISPATCHER: Alright, that’s okay.(rustling)

Sarah McKinley believes the intruder, Justin Martin, was stalking her. A week after Sarah’s husband’s funeral, Justin stopped by her trailer late in the evening and introduced himself as a neighbor. Sarah McKinley was suspicious.

On New Years Eve, Martin was carrying a 12-inch hunting knife, which McKinley saw in his hand (she thought it was a gun at the time) as he entered her home. It appears that Martin and accomplice Dusty Stewart were breaking in to get McKinley’s husband’s prescription drugs and that they had possibly broken in before.

McKinley won’t face charges over the death of the intruder, but his accomplice will due to a strange twist in the law that allows prosecutors to charge an accomplice with murder if someone dies in the attempted commission of a crime.

The Daily Mail reports:

‘When you’re engaged in a crime such as first-degree burglary and death results from the events of that crime, you’re subject to prosecution for it,’ Assistant District Attorney James Walters told the Oklahoman….

Detective Dan Huff told KOCO-TV that under some circumstances, shooting a person is permissible.
‘You’re allowed to shoot an unauthorized person that is in your home,’ he said. ‘The law provides you the remedy, and sanctions the use of deadly force.’

The Oklahoma Castle Doctrine, otherwise known as the Make My Day law, states you can only shoot an intruder if they have entered your home.

Nowhere in the transcript of the 911 call do we hear her warn the intruder that she is armed and will shoot him. The dispatcher asks her if she has a car alarm she can set off via remote key, but she doesn’t.

Sarah McKinley reports that two of her dogs were recently found dead and her mother tells that Justin Martin stalked Ms. McKinley two years ago at a rodeo.

Blogger Maggiesnotebook reports that McKinley wrote on her Facebook page at one point that she had to shoot one of her dogs who was having a seizure that she thinks resulted from being poisoned. There is a also photo of her holding a gun pointed at a donkey while a person lays sprawled over it, in an apparent act of play.

Just days before the January 8th anniversary of the Tucson massacre in which six people died at the hands of a mentally unstable gunman, Sarah Palin praised the young woman for “fulfilling a purpose of the second amendment” in an email to the National Review. She went on to write, “I’m all in favor of girls with guns who know their purpose.”

Of course, the gun wasn’t McKinley’s (it was her husband’s), and there’s no way of knowing if a person “knows their purpose” when they purchase a firearm or even if they are stable enough to discern the right time to use it. These are the issues that should challenge the notion that anyone should be able to walk in and purchase a firearm like the one used in the Arizona shootings.

But in this case, it’s not that the young mom was wrong for killing to protect her baby and herself, it’s that how we discuss these things matters. Dubbing McKinley the “Make My Day Mom” is hero-worshiping, frighteningly glib and ultimately serves to trivialize the decision to pull the trigger with intent to kill.

I also own a shotgun and would shoot to kill an intruder in my home if I thought it were necessary. But glorifying this and calling it the purpose of the second amendment is disturbing. In point of fact, the purpose of the second amendment was to maintain independent militias to defend the country should its security be threatened. It was a reactionary stance to the framers distrust of a federal army.

The federal courts, in accordance with Supreme Court precedents, have consistently held that there is no individual right to own a gun. In Morton Grove, Illinois, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, “possession of handguns by individuals is not part of the right to keep and bear arms.”

In the 1980 decision in Lewis v. United States, the court majority opinion upheld the rights to deny firearms to felons and noted, “the Court stated, “These legislative restrictions on the use of firearms do not trench upon any constitutionally protected liberties.” The opinion listed voting, the practice of medicine, and even holding office in labor organizations as “activities far more fundamental than the possession of a firearm.”

It’s interesting that the guns rights advocates who claim to be constitutional adherents are fine with voting ID laws that deny a much more fundamental right, as well as disbanding organized labor, while the court ruled that holding office in organized labor (unions) is a fundamental right.
In the same way that gun rights activists want what they perceive as their way of life understood, so to do labor and voting rights activists want those rights respected and honored.

But it’s not just the law that is at issue here. When you chose to take someone’s life, it’s a decision you can’t go back on. It’s a life changing choice.

It would be natural to have second thoughts about it, even under the clearest of circumstances. This is what tells us that we are alive and have a working conscience. It speaks to our compassion and our ability to feel things for other people. After all, the intruder had a mother and a family of his own. Even if he made the decision to break the law and left the shooter no choice, remorse over his death is a human reaction.

The right has glorified this as the perfect example for why we need guns and why guns are the great equalizer. Yes, that is the conclusion if one imagines America as the Wild West where protecting your own was the highest priority because in an uncivilized world, it was necessary. But this is not the only conclusion or dialogue we could be having about this topic.

We could be discussing her referencing this intruder as a stalker and discuss the absolutely horrifying statistics of violence against women in this country. Perhaps shooting stalkers is one way to put an end to that nightmare, but what are the ramifications of that cultural choice? What if a man really is the current boyfriend or had an invitation to come over but the woman shoots him and tells police he was stalking her? I grant you that the odds of this happening are much fewer than the odds of a woman being stalked by an unstable and dangerous person, but the point is that our laws and civilization take all of these factors into account for a reason.

Noting the twenty minutes it look for law enforcement to show up, we could be discussing the impact of cutting budgets for police forces throughout the country. We could be feeling relieved that she and her baby are safe but have the humanity to express regret that another person’s life was taken, and regret that a young woman had to make this choice and now has to live with this for the rest of her life.

Yes, it’s true, some people can kill someone and feel nothing, but most people cannot. No matter how cool our culture tries to make it sound, life is not a Clint Eastwood movie. In real life, if you kill someone on purpose, you have just played God in a sense. Perhaps you feel you were right to do so, but we have to question a culture in which such a brutal act of finality is glorified.

McKinley told the police she knew the intruders were up to no good, but in truth, she didn’t know what they were going to do. No one could know that. She made an assessment based on their actions and she made a choice to escalate force. These are tough choices that cops and troops are trained to make quickly, but the average Jane is not. It might be legal to shoot an intruder, and it might have been the best decision, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to sit well with a person morally or spiritually.

That haunted look we see in our returning troops eyes comes from seeing death as a matter of course. It comes from seeing human life murdered in the name of war. It can lead to debilitating episodes of post traumatic stress syndrome disorder. This is not a goal we should have for our society. Even the life of a “bad guy” is worth respecting and honoring as a human life.

Sometimes we have to take drastic action to protect our families and ourselves, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy and it shouldn’t be glorified or trivialized.

Image: ABC

61 Replies to “Media Circus Around ‘The Make My Day Mom’ Ignores A Tough Decision”

  1. I have to disagree with you on this one. If someone breaks into your home after trying to get in for more than 20 minutes, you know they’re not just making a social call and there’s NO reason to warn them. I support Sarah’s decision and hope she can recover from the awful decision she had to make. I don’t think she made it lightly, don’t think she’s glorifying what she had to do, and I believe her when she says she chose her son over the intruder. Even the 911 operator agreed she had to protect her baby.

  2. I agree that this killing shouldn’t be glorified, and it’s disgusting the advantage that gun rights advocates are trying to take of it. I also wish the media would leave the woman alone. She has to be traumatized from having to make this choice. Of course, the media never let anyone who’s remotely controversial heal in peace–and that’s really sad.

  3. Here in Arizona we also have a law where accomplices can be charged with murder if anyone, even one of their own, gets killed in the commission of a crime. I dunno what it says about me as a person, but frankly I like it. Then again, the neighborhood I was living in last year had half a dozen armed home invasions within two blocks of me in the first three months of 2011 before I moved.

    To be honest, while the “glorifying” is disturbing, I think it’s a good thing in that it puts the bad guys on notice that they’re taking their own lives in their hands when they invade someone’s home.

    But I can see your point of view as well. It’s a complicated question.

  4. If Sarah palin had a brain, and we know she doesn’t, she would be sensitive to exactly what the lady did. She killed a fellow human being. Obviously necessary but the point is that palin, once again encourages this stuff. palin, brain dead as she is once again puts owning guns over the life of a human. Her best step should have been to say I am sorry she had to kill a person

    Owning a gun is a solemn thing. Human life always comes first. Even if you have to kill someone as this person did, the human life must be uppermost in the mind. Not glorifying owning a gun.

    I cannot believe that there are more than 25 people who want Palin to be president. She is a very unthinking uncaring person.

  5. So why has no one asked why she shot to kill? Why did she not shoot his knee or his arm holding the knife? In the same way that that poor child on the school grounds was shot in the head last week, why is killing glorified at all? Ever? America is not only devolving on civil and human rights issues, we are rapidly returning to the lawless West. This has to stop. President Obama is not the Devil. America is recovering under his leadership. He has ended one war, and done the right thing to cut the DOD’s bloated budget. The GOP and NRA want to instill fear and a longing for guns in every single soul in this land, as a way to regain the White House. It is sick, wrong, and is changing this country for the worse.

  6. Good question. It goes back to the idea that you shoot to kill if you are not skilled at it – for your safety. But it is the wild west mentality,and in countries where they don’t own so many guns they have less violence like Canada!

  7. She was using a shotgun that was bigger than her. I am not sure she could have just wounded him. He had a 10% if he was lucky chance of surviving a shotgun blast at that range

  8. What $arah fals to mention in her tweet is that the young woman had been married to a man 40 years her senior, and that they had been together for 3 years, and that her husband had previously been engaged in statutory rape with the young woman.

    The tragic story of a young widow, living in a rural trailer – clearly 20 minutes from the near3est LEO on patrol – just goes to show the depths Sarah Paylin will plunge to to gratify her base.

    The story of how this young woman ended up raising an infant and a widow at age 18 should be the focus of the story. Whatever safety net this young lady has remaining is what we must fight to preserve.

    Otherwise, we will be returning to public hangings on Saturday, and church on Sunday, just like the good old conservative west.

  9. It certainly is a solemn responsibility to own a firearm. It is in the citizen’s interest to get training and be familiar with the laws in their jurisdiction. Shooting to wound is not an option when you are defending your life or those of your loved ones, this is not hollywood. Please do not attack this woman or anyone else that has been put in this position by lawless individuals with bad intent..your just armchair quarterbacking and it is offensive. There are times when warnings and harsh language are not enough and once your are dead there is no second chance. It is good not to glorify this or any other killing but this kind of thing is prevented every day by responsible gunowners, you just don’t hear about it. Stay safe.

  10. I’m all for gun control. However, if I were in this young woman’s position, I would have done exactly what she did and I would have used any weapon I could get my hands on, if it had to be my bare hands. There’s no second-guessing a mother defending the life of her child.

  11. The Supreme Court has actually set precedent determining the right of individual Americans to own guns is supported by the Second Amendment. Heller v District of Columbia first, followed by Chicago v McDonald, which incorporated the Second Amendment to the states. You quoted the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals because you know the Supreme Court has recently ruled in favor of individual over collective rights. At least be honest in your bias.

  12. There are so many false hoods here..

    ” The federal courts, in accordance with Supreme Court precedents, have consistently held that there is no individual right to own a gun. In Morton Grove, Illinois, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, “possession of handguns by individuals is not part of the right to keep and bear arms.””

    In the 1980 decision in Lewis v. United States, the court majority opinion upheld the rights to deny firearms to felons and noted, “the Court stated, “These legislative restrictions on the use of firearms do not trench upon any constitutionally protected liberties.” The opinion listed voting, the practice of medicine, and even holding office in labor organizations as “activities far more fundamental than the possession of a firearm.””

    I have to ask: have you been living under a rock? I don’t know about the Lewis case, but if it held specifically against gun ownership right the way you claim it does, please look up District of Columbia v. Heller & McDonald v. City of Chicago. McDonald entirely destroys this argument.

    “It’s interesting that the guns rights advocates who claim to be constitutional adherents are fine with voting ID laws that deny a much more fundamental right, as well as disbanding organized labor, while the court ruled that holding office in organized labor (unions) is a fundamental right. In the same way that gun rights activists want what they perceive as their way of life understood, so to do labor and voting rights activists want those rights respected and honored”

    You are broad brushing gun rights advocates. I’m a supporter of marriage equality. I’m also a union member. I do not vote for politicians who are against civil libertIRS, especially anyone pro-SOPA.

  13. “So why has no one asked why she shot to kill? Why did she not shoot his knee or his arm holding the knife?”

    Simple. Every firearm instructor and cop in the land will tell you to aim for COM (Center of Mass). Not even cops have that kind of accuracy in a high-stress environment {and this was the very definition} after training, and to ask a new widow (with a child to protect) without such law enforcement training to make such a shot would be unreasonable, at best.

  14. Good. If we had no gun rights then we will have crime all over. Criminals don’t obey the law so they will have the guns and honest people will not. If you didn’t have guns it would be easy to round us up and slaughter us just like they did in Nazi germany and Soviet Russia. Wake up.

    2nd Amendment was smart.

  15. How can you idiots support gun control. Crime will explode. That is why New York and Chicago have the highest crime rates. Its because they have a total gun ban.

    Criminals don’t follow the law so they will have guns but with gun control we are disarming the good people.
    That is Insanity

  16. I’m as liberal as they come, and I abhor guns…but I have to say, regardless of the intention of the framers of the Constitution, THIS, is exactly what guns SHOULD be used for.

  17. “On New Years Eve, Martin was carrying a 12-inch hunting knife, which McKinley saw in his hand … as he entered her home. It appears that Martin and accomplice Dusty Stewart were breaking in to get McKinley’s husband’s prescription drugs and that they had possibly broken in before.”

    Okay, you don’t need a 12-inch knife AND a friend to lift a little pill bottle out of a medicine cabinet in a home a lone woman and infant live in.

    Nor do you need it to fight your way out of the home and back to “safety,” where ever that is for a person who would do such a thing.

    Given how he armed himself, there is no way to think her life was not in danger. The fact he overtly introduced himself to her before breaking in armed to her house is beyond creepy.

  18. I’m also for gun control, although it appears that the young lady had good reason for fear. Just the same, the killing of another human being is no cause for celebration, even for the justifiable reason of self-defense. She not only has to deal with the enormous responsibility of raising a child alone at such a young age, but will have to live with the trauma of killing another human being until she dies.

  19. While the above poster is probably correct with the 10 percent chance, the other reason is the same as why we don’t train law enforcement or police officers to shoot to maim. Its two fold, could cause unjustified suffering of the `victim` being shot, along with what if you miss. Its much easier to hit center mass (Chest) than it is an arm or leg or hand. Escalation of force is trained to military and police officers, if a situation warrants use of deadly force it is uses. This is determined on a few criteria but someone using a weapon to perform a crime especially in the manner this individual did, the woman besides law, had every right to protect herself and child, hope she is able to cope with it, but she did right.

  20. There’s so many F’d up things about this. 1. an 18 year old girl married to a 58 year old man…and they had a baby?! WTF? 2. It’s crazy that the other intruder is getting tried for murder when all he’s guilty of is breaking and entering. 3. Person A kills person B intentionally, person A is a murderer, it doesn’t matter the reason.

  21. The “Make-My-Day-Mom” attribution came from neighbors – not the media. (ABC News report at 2:12) The tough decision for this woman lies in the protection of her child; had she allowed these men to gain access to her home could she meaningfully carry out the obligation she has to that small person. No. So in my mind, and it seems in hers, that made the decision to actually shoot fairly simple and straightforward. Mrs. McKinley has never appeared glib to me in any reports about this incident.

  22. You do not shoot to kill.You shoot to stop the aggression.You shoot at the largest target,which happens to contain most of the vital organs.Was the mans choice to try and break in, he should have known the risks.A dead man cannot sue you,but a man just wounded can.He then becomes the victim in many peoples eyes.I see no problem with that shooting.Our court system is taught to protect the victim.She could very possibly be seen as bad person,hence loosing the court battle.Just remember “You shoot to stop the aggression, not to kill”(Texas CHL. Death is just the side effect of that action.

  23. In the hallway of a trailer, using a 12 ga shotgun is like shooting into a funnel. There is no such thing as a largest target. Re-read my post, I was fully supportive of the lady shooting the guy.

  24. Dodo, 75% of all deaths with firearams are committed by people who either know the person they shot or are related to the person that was shot. Not by “Criminals”. Detroit has a higher crime rate per capita then NYC and it has no gun laws. Your premise is completely flawed. There is no total gun ban in NYC or Chicago. If the NRA told you that, they are lying.

  25. 75% of all deaths with firearams are committed by people who either know the person they shot or are related to the person that was shot. Not by “Criminals”.

    BTW, if the government was to round you up, exactly how long do you think you would last against the military? A matter of seconds?

  26. “The federal courts, in accordance with Supreme Court precedents, have consistently held that there is no individual right to own a gun.”

    The author is just flat out wrong. In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 US 570 (2008), the US Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes in federal enclaves, such as self-defense within the home.

    Ms. Jones should do her research before she writes, and doesn’t this site have editors that review these things.

  27. 1. age difference does not matter love is blind 2. intruder 2 does deserve to be charged with the murder it was his actions that caused it 3. sorry but person a was the victim and person b was the criminal the right person is getting charged with the murder.

  28. My understanding is that she either shot through the door, or fired diectly it was cracked, but in any event, a shotgun isn’t exactly a precision instrument.

    This article only briefly alluded to an ugly truth: In the global society that now exists, every little girl learns by the time she is eleven that she is always and at all times a prey animal, that the predator is always a male of her own species, that society tacitly condones this conduct, and that if she doesn’t avoid predation, she’ll be blamed. She learns that any male of her own kind, known or stranger, may want to beat her, kidnap her, rape her, degrade her, maim her, or kill her just for being female, and that this enemy can look like anything and be anywhere. And then she has to make herself forget this consciously so she can behave normally and function as if she were normal…but she mustn’t forget, not really, because the predators will never forget. If this young woman had warned she was armed, she risked being shot pre-emptively.

    She has done nothing wrong. What is wrong is when people like Palin turn her into a centerfold for firearms aggression. Very few jurisdictions would bar anyone from using lethal force to defend against one of the commom-law felonies (basically, murder, rape, arson of an occupied building, aggravated battery/mayhem, robbery, or burglary). This is a far more cautious position than allowing open carry, granting concealed carry to whoever asks, or permitting the free sale of assault weapons and conversion kits. It has gotten to the point where the police are likely to find themselves far less well armed than the professional criminals and psychopathic domestic abusers they are asked to enforce the law against. This cannot be a wholesome outlook for any of us.

  29. I can only agree that killing another human is not cause for celebration, but how can you read this article and think about gun control? This woman and her child may have been killed had it not been for them owning a firearm, she had very good reason to take the action she took. I support the decision she made and would do the same If I were in her shoes. I would not celebrate the action, but take comfort in knowing that i live in a country where I reserve the right to defend myself. The only thing to celebrate here is that a woman and her infant child are still alive, not that another man is dead.

  30. Gun control does not prevent people from having guns. Gun Control prevents people who should not have guns from having guns.I would think at the same time that you support this woman doing what she did, and I do to, you would also support known criminals and people with mental problems from having guns. I’m not sure why you would be against that.

  31. actually the intention of the framers of the Constitution and allowing people to have guns was to provide a militia that could be called up on a sudden basis without the United States having to arm them. It had nothing to do with people breaking into your homes although that is how it is now used. The odds of needing a civilian militia that is armed to the teeth to be called up at any moment has been gone a long time

  32. Why the hell would someone living in a trailer need a god damned gun? 18 year old bride, 58 year old husband. Stories like this just make me embarrassed for all of my American friends.

  33. They should require that you warn the intruder once at least.

    And that prosecutor knows that is not the purpose of that law.

  34. The mentality of the gun nuts is frightening. I think if you own a gun you should license it once a year just like you do your car and you should have to have insurance on it as well.
    They love to use car analogies to defend their right to kill well lets turn it back on them.

  35. I’m listening to Sarah jones here:
    And I’m wondering if SHE didn’t Kill her husband who had Cancer? Using powerfull painkillers.
    Also there are questions being raised that the “Child” was the guy who was killed?
    I hope the investigators are competent and pursuing all avenues. B/c something does not pass the smell test her…
    Including her marrying a man who could be her father, grandfather!!!
    Oh and she practiced on her pet dog or the husbands pet dog.

  36. Though the picture is a little stomach-turning, without definitive evidence, your accusations are over the top.

  37. What everyone keeps overlooking here is the fact that they were KNOCKING at the door. Knocking! How many intruders knock at the door? Do they have any proof that this guy was “stalking” her? She apparently said she saw the knife, was there one found? I defend her right to defend her child, but this whole incident doesn’t ring true to me. Everyone jumps on her bandwagon without questioning. He previously introduced himself to her as her neighbor. I hope there is further investigation. She may have just “jumped the gun” feeling threatened without valid reason.

  38. “Gun Control prevents people who should not have guns from having guns.”

    Yea, right. In your dreams. In the real world if crooks want guns they can steal or make them. Laws do not deter them at all.

  39. There are always going to be people who can get guns. That would be very difficult to stop. However using your method which is obviously no gun control you are opening the field to a vast number of people who actually commit more crimes with guns. You seem to be under the mistaken vision that only criminals commit crimes. When 75% of all murders with guns are committed by family members and by acquaintances, you don’t open up this field to people with mental problems and people who have already committed crimes when you can stop it.

    If criminals( or crooks as you define them) were the only people having weapons our murder rate with guns would be extremely low as those people are a small part of our population

  40. Why is it that some folks confuse the need for gun control with the idea that no one should have guns? The fact is that there are people who should never have guns under any circumstances, like Jared Loughner who killed 6 people last year, including a 9-year-old child, and seriously wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The DC snipers, who wreaked so much havoc around America, including my part of this country, also come to mind.
    Gun control is designed to allow sane, responsible people to have guns and to keep them out of the hands of criminals as well as mentally unstable folks.

  41. 18 year old bride with a kid + 58 yo husband. There is no yelling “I have called the police they are on the way”. “I have a gun and will shoot if you come in the door”. And all that posing for the cameras afterward. This is just creepy. She is very creepy.

  42. I keep thinking about people who are drunk and try to get into what they think is their own home.

  43. Oh after driving home from the bar to bad for them they should not have drank that much in the first place!!

  44. The story I read said he was IN HER HOUSE. Clearly she did not invite him in or want him there if she is dialing 911. She made a tough choice at 18 that veteran police have trouble making. The idea of shooting to wound is ridiculous to anyone who has ever fired a gun period, much less under stress. It simply cannot be done…especially if the attacker is not feeling pain the way a normal person would (e.g. on drugs) and you may not have another chance to shoot. What she did should not be glorified because she took another human life. We have very limited information about what happened that night so we cannot judge if what she did is justified.

  45. I am very confused by this woman’s story. some reports refer to two men breaking in, but based on the part of the 911 tape released she only sees the now dead man, never the second man…he claims he stayed at the fence wherever that is. so the image of two men breaking in, one at one door and one at another are false. A lot about this story does not add up. She said in one interview her dog began to growl Well why do we not hear the dog barking on the 911 tape. if someone banged on my doors my dog would go nuts and she had a larger german shepherd but we hear nothing. Some reports claim she recognized the man as a stalker…but on the 911 tape she never mentions that only that she has had two dogs come up missing, nothing about being stalked. Some reports say her mother said the dead man stalked her at a rodeo two years ago? how do you stalk someone at an event two years ago and nothing since? thats stalking? then there is a report that the dead man stalked her since her husband got sick, and another since her husband had died which i think by that time was a week. Then there is the report he showed up late on the night of her husbands funeral, and introduces himself as a neighbor…but if he was a stalker why would he have to introduce himself? then she has told stories about two dogs missing and then two dogs before that being poison, again just the missing dogs in the 911 tape…and how did the dogs come up missing? were they in the house, pen, fence, on a chain or does she let them run loose, subject to being shot by a nearby rancher for chasing his stock? this story like the false stalking charge seems to be another attempt to “prove” that the intruder was coming after her. Well she is whispering, and we hear no banging or yelling on the 911 tape..if he was coming after her don’t you think we would have heard the man yelling or something? I think its clear he was a drug addict who thought the trailer was empty and pried the door with that knife and he was not coming after her, and probably did not even seen her, only a flash from a shotgun before his death. Which brings me to my last point, where are her husbands pain pills? the police and sarah claim that is probably what he was after. She then invents a new story that she suspected someone was sneaking into her house while she was gone, and taking her husbands pills, because again some came up missing…first what addict just takes a few pills and comes back? a few reports reporting this new story, go out of their way to say people in blanchard don’t lock their doors…hmmm well if you thought someone was coming into your house while you were gone wouldn’t you change that habit? and if narcotics your dying husband needed were being taken wouldn’t you call the police? so after dead dogs, missing dogs, missing pills, a stalker for two years she never reports a thing…but she did file for an order of protection a couple of years ago against her husbands relatives…not sure what thats about…why does she need to lie about this man? he was five feet tall btw…all the imagery of some big old stalker coming as young woman and her infant is pure bunk..and one last thing, remember those pills, the police found none…so are we able to assume she flushed them or turned them in when her husband passed? the sheriff needs to look into this story…it just does not add up? what is the full truth sarah?

  46. Mary I agree. Another thing, her moms says she told her she didn’t know it was Justin Martin until AFTER she shot him. The problem is she previously said he had introduced himself to her at least twice. Once at a store, and again the night of her husbands funeral. While the 911 dispatcher is transfering the call she asks for a description and Sarah says he’s got orange hair. She also says she saw them approaching and recognized him as the one who had been there before.

    I understand she shouldn’t have to hide out, but with all these things she reports as happening in the past few weeks and NO police report??

    I also wonder about that huge dog not barking, that in itself might have scared off an intruder.

  47. Who she married, her age are not the issues here. You may not like those choices, but it doesn’t deny her the right to protect herself when she is in the privacy of her own home.

    Also, there is no requirement that an intruder be given a warning that they will be shot. It is always a possibility when someone intrudes upon another person. Also, why tell someone that they have a gun and will shoot them? So the intruder can leave and come back with different weapons? If they are determined in their pursuit of entering a residence, the home resident has the right to be determined in their efforts to deny access. Some people may be satisfied in just scaring someone away, but someone on edge fearing someone will come back may be more dangerous. It sounds like this girl had been through quite a bit of trauma and since news reports indicate she felt like she was being watched, and she felt her dogs died due to foul play, and now her husband was dead, she was likely even more scared than a person would be without those experiences. She was likely very edgy, and that is not a good combination. Intruders should consider the power of those emotions on the surface when deciding to intrude on another person. Certainly it seems to increase the odds that someone will pull the trigger to end the fear if given the chance.

    It is obvious that there are choices she has made in her life that create a strong revulsion response in many people. (me included) egad… an 18 year old and a 58 year old man? Where were her parents? Isn’t there anyone in her life that could discuss what is wrong with that? However, that is just us judging based on our own values, and what we want for our children, our sisters and friends. It doesn’t really make her less worthy of protecting herself. And, if you really think about even her own quote that there is nothing more dangerous than a woman with a child… I would say, that no, that may not inherently be dangerous, but a vulnerable teenager with a baby, who has a skewed sense of what is normal and appropriate and is feeling scared and alone and is armed is a very dangerous person.

    I am not getting the sense that she herself is glorifying what she did, but she is young and is inundated with attention. She may not have gotten to the point in her life yet where she could calculate out the full consequences of her actions. Look at some of her choices that we all know about now because of what happened to her. She probably thinks it is validation of a choice she made and so she responds by acting out what they want. I am not saying I agree with that, just that it is understandable given that she may not be calculating out how this will all effect her or the consequences of her posing with guns and playing a lady “make my day” poster child.

    She should have called a lawyer first, regardless of if police told her their investigation into her was complete and that lawyer should have told her to keep her mouth shut. When the whole case including prosecution of the accomplice is complete, she could then orchestrate discussing her story, maybe in a book or something. I think she confused the sudden fame with validation and when the interviews are all over, she will still have to deal with the full force of all that has happened. She should have had a lawyer to answer requests for interviews and keep to herself and get some counseling. If we are judging the sort of life she has lead up to 18… what comes next after all of this? Hard to imagine it gets better unless she is able to appreciate what might have been less than ideal in her choices. What will happen when she gets to a point of second guessing herself in how she handled the break in? It would be odd if she didn’t get to a point of imagining doing different things and it then trigger strong guilt responses. She is human and it is a good human instinct to evaluate if there was a different outcome… I am not saying she SHOULD ultimately feel terrible guilt, just that it is human to do so even if ultimately you are justified in the course of action you chose. Soldiers is a great example of this. They sign on willing to go to war. They go and fight who is perceived as the “enemy”, but they are human and it costs them their emotional comfort and innocence. I think the media should be chastised for only pursuing this story from the “we need a hero” perspective. Why not ask more human questions? Why not approach the story in a bigger context? I realize, that is not really their job- as they are in business to entertain. If it bleeds it leads and the most salacious headlines are what they think ropes in readers/viewers. Anyway, I think shame on a lot of people in this story.

  48. It likely was the fear response. We have a term of “fog of war” that refers to what is happening in the heat of battle, and it skews what people perceive and how they react to the stress of what they believe to be a life or death battle.

    Her being scared, AND a teenager- (isn’t the full pre-frontal cortex that helps with action/reaction/consequence reasoning not even fully formed until early 20’s) and all that was probably going on with her, likely made her just shoot. She would have had to really view herself as in charge and confident that she was just trying to scare him for her to aim for something else. Also, didn’t she use a shotgun? She was going to hit the broadside of a barn with that. Also, I read that he was in between the door and a couch. So if I stand next to my couch it comes up to my midriff area… all that is exposed for someone to see and shoot is chest and head area. A shot gun, and what was exposed and how close she likely was as she was in a trailer and one end to another is not a great distance… I think it would be hard to do anything but kill him with that shot. She may not have had a conscious thought, just the instinct to end the fear.

    cops often cite that it is too risky and dangerous to try an “aim” for anything other than the kill shot. However, at least police officers are trained to use deadly force when necessary, and receive counseling when they have had to harm or kill someone. In this case, she was not trained to do this as part of her job. At most she was probably taught to shoot and told that she might need to protect herself. I don’t think anyone ever told her- “here, aim here, here and here, and you will stop someone and not kill them.” Who thinks they will need to ever shoot someone if it is not in your job description. I don’t think she even had the ability to think really about what she was doing. Fear was her motivator and it probably just overwhelmed anything else.

  49. That is what I see as well. But the media loves to just ride the headlines and stir up the pot. Someone from a media outlet must have asked her to pose with her gun for that picture that keeps circulating around. Also going around are pictures she herself posted at some point posing with her guns, so she is inclined to do that and see nothing wrong with it. However, to me it looks a bit creepy. She has spoken in a respectful and dignified manner, but posing with guns isn’t very dignified, it is a photo that will attract the wrong kind of attention. (in my opinion)

  50. The accomplice told the police that the gate was locked and they climbed over it and the plan was to burglarize the house. The knocking is weird. Perhaps they assumed they could get her to open the door for them and then they would force their way in. The accomplice also said they had taken something (hydrocodone or something) just before they went there. Don’t know how much or the effects of them, but perhaps it slows down and confuses the reasoning. My thoughts are that they expected someone to answer the door, and then they planned to force their way in.

    What is scary is they did this in broad daylight, so anyone home would be able to identify them. What were they going to do with that person?

  51. kind of makes you wonder if he was already dead, if the dog isn’t barking. i think if he knew she was there she wouldn’t have had to shoot him, but she seems eager to shoot…and seems to be boasting to reporters. i see no sadness in her having to take a life. how do we know her husband or even her were not selling pills he got thru prescriptions..and with the facebook pics…she could just be a psycho herself.

  52. I agree from my reading she is a gun nut. The videos of her after the shooting waving the shotgun around make me think she was primed to shoot someone

  53. I don’t think he was already dead because the 2nd operator tells the first she heard the shot go off.

    The thing with the dog bothers me because if the dog heard the knocking/banging and somehow knew it was him, either by being able to see out a window or even hear his voice, he might not bark. I wonder if he barked the first night when her sis and bil were there?

    Something else, from her Dr Drew interview she says that first night he came by he jerked (or grabbed) the door from her and her bil was standing behind her and when he saw him he asked who the guy was, and she said her sister’s husband. HUH? Why would she even bother to answer who it is to this “odd acting” person that showed up at her door?

  54. I have not heard this version of the visit. One version was she didn’t open the door “at first.” not sure what that meant. Also one version he stopped by to say he worked for the landlord..might be the same version he introduced himself as a neighbor. The acting strangly stories seem to have evolved later…again her need to make him into a crazy stalker coming after her…the already dead statement i made was from a poster on another site that thought she shot a second time on tape, but the intruder was already dead. I guess the timeline could be tightened if the second guy has the times right..but he was high…and not sure how soon he called police after the shooting.
    I would like to know her secret to stop a dog from barking at a stranger banging on doors front and back..and why bang anyway? thats not how you would break in…none of this makes sense…i think the police should reinact the incident…have someone on 911 and with her and her dog..then someone else pound we would hear the pounding and i bet the dog would go nuts.

  55. i think that late night visit could have been a customer stopping for another buy. when he saw she had company they both got nervous and staged a chance meeting. my theory is either her husband or she had been selling his pills over time and this was either one of her customers or someone who wanted to be..probably heard something around town. If this is true, perhaps she needed to silence him, and since she thought he was alone, she shot him…the rest was all an act. but we will never know.

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