BLANCHARD — The two men who invaded Sarah McKinley's Blanchard mobile home had just taken prescription painkillers and might have been after more medication, according to an affidavit filed Wednesday in Grady County.
Those and other details have come to light in the days since New Year's Eve, when McKinley, 18, shot and killed Justin Shane Martin, 24, of Blanchard, with a 12-gauge shotgun after he forced his way through her front door. McKinley's 3-month-old son, Justin, was with her in the house during the ordeal, which happened about 2 p.m. Saturday.
Martin died still clutching a knife in his gloved left hand, the affidavit states. His alleged accomplice, Dustin Louis Stewart, 29, of Blanchard, turned himself in after hearing the gunshot that killed Martin and now faces a first-degree murder charge.
Stewart was arraigned Wednesday and is being held in the Grady County jail with a bond hearing set for Thursday, Assistant District Attorney James Walters said.
The 911 call
“I've got two guns in my hand. Is it OK to shoot him if he comes in this door?” McKinley asked Grady County dispatcher Diane Graham shortly before she fired one of the guns.
“Well you have to do whatever you can do to protect yourself,” Graham is heard answering on the 911 tape released Wednesday. “I can't tell you that you can do that, but you have to do what you have to do to protect your baby.”
McKinley had barricaded the door with a couch. Martin had been aggressively knocking and managed to force the door open with his shoulder.
Graham said during a Wednesday interview that McKinley spoke in a whisper during the call, which she answered near the end of an otherwise quiet shift.
The shot rang loud and clear over the dispatcher's telephone. Law officers found Martin's body slumped over the couch.
The ordeal lasted 21 minutes, McKinley said. Graham said she dispatched a sheriff's deputy to the rural location, then notified the Blanchard Police Department because she thought a police officer might get there more quickly.
Grady County Sheriff Art Kell said a first-degree murder charge is appropriate for the intruder's alleged accomplice. Prosecutors said it was a clear-cut case of self-defense, and McKinley will not be charged.
“Our initial review of the case doesn't indicate she violated the law in any way,” Walters said.
“He should have thought about it before he went into someone's home,” Kell said. “I hope the best for his family.”
McKinley has stayed at her mobile home on the outskirts of Blanchard since the shooting. She said Wednesday she suspected she was being watched for weeks before the incident.
Trees that snapped and twisted during the May 24 tornado line the county road that dead-ends at the property where McKinley raises German shepherd puppies. She answered the door Wednesday with a shotgun in her hand. It's been a devastating few weeks for the young mother and widow.
McKinley said her four female German shepherds turned up dead within the last month.
She thinks they were poisoned. She keeps a male dog in the house with her.
She found the first dog's body three days after her husband, Kenneth McKinley, 58, entered the hospital with complications from lung cancer on Dec. 5. He died on Christmas Day.
Stewart told investigators Martin was addicted to prescription medication and had plans to burglarize the residence.
Martin knew Kenneth McKinley had recently died of cancer and suspected there were narcotics in the house, Stewart said.
Sarah McKinley said Martin knocked on her front door Dec. 29, the day she buried her husband. She said he acted strangely and left after seeing she had company. She said she did not know him.
Sarah McKinley told the dispatcher on Saturday: “This guy is up to no good. My husband just passed away. I'm here by myself with my infant baby. Can I please get an inspector out here immediately?”
A high school dropout who learned to ride and break horses at age 8, she started living with Kenneth McKinley about three years ago, she said.
The relationship turned romantic; a marriage license was issued in November.
Asked about the 40-year age difference, McKinley said: “I'm not ashamed I married him. I still love him with everything I am.”
The relationship created friction between her and her mother, Debbie Murray. When Justin was born that all changed, Murray said Wednesday.
McKinley told her mother she suspected someone was getting into the home, moving things around, in recent weeks. They aren't in the habit of locking doors in Blanchard, Murray said.
McKinley felt watched. She would call her mother, terrified, in the middle of the night.
Murray thought her daughter was imagining things because of the stress of Kenneth McKinley's illness. Neither of them called police.
Murray said she is haunted by the thought of how long it took law officers to get to the house, and she has been spending more time with her daughter since the shooting.
The Blanchard Police Department has set up an account with Chickasha Bank and Trust to try and help the family.
Sarah McKinley sold her husband's guns and other possessions to help pay for his funeral. She kept a 12-gauge shotgun for her son and also had a pistol. Her late husband taught her to shoot, she said. McKinley said she doesn't feel good that Martin is dead. But she would do it again if she had to, to protect her son.
Staff Writer Tiffany Gibson
The Blanchard police set up a donation account for Sarah McKinley at the Chickasha Bank & Trust Company. Those interested in donating can send checks to P.O. Box 548 Blanchard, OK 73010 made payable to Sarah McKinley.