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Law allows fatal shot, Lincoln County official says

BY ROBERT MEDLEY Modified: December 9, 2009 at 6:03 am •  Published: December 9, 2009

CHANDLER — A woman’s shotgun blast that felled an intruder in Lincoln County was a justified act, and just as an emergency dispatcher told the woman before she squeezed the trigger, firing was her best option under the circumstances, the district attorney said Tuesday.

The intruder’s motivations for breaking into her house may remain unclear, but the action taken to stop him was a clear exercise of a homeowner’s rights, District Attorney Richard Smothermon said.

Smothermon issued a ruling Tuesday that Donna Jackson had the legal authority to shoot and kill Billy Dean Riley about 12:40 a.m. Friday. Smothermon said he has declined to file any criminal charge against her.

Jackson, 56, was standing in her home south of Cushing on Friday with a shotgun when Riley, 53, used a patio table to smash through a glass patio door, Smothermon said. She opened fire and the shooting was recorded as the 911 dispatcher talked her through it.

The dispatcher had told her, "you can defend your property.”

Smothermon ruled the shooting is justified under the state’s "stand-your-ground” law, which allows a person to shoot an intruder in a home. Riley was lying dead on the back patio, with his feet inside the door threshold, by the time deputies arrived.

Riley had stepped across the back patio threshold and into the kitchen, said Lincoln County Sheriff Chuck Mangion.

In a trembling voice, Jackson on Tuesday said she did not want to comment.

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