Early last Wednesday morning, two men broke into the home of University of Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, stealing a vehicle, credit card, and other items while the coach’s family slept.
That night, a 15-year-old girl crouched and hid in the closet of her Edmond home and called police as burglars broke a window and attempted to enter the home.
Just a few days later and a mile and a half away, an Edmond homeowner shot and killed a man who broke into his home in the early hours of Saturday morning.
In the Stoops’ home invasion, police arrested Corey McCarty and another suspect, whose name has not been released because he is a juvenile. The pair’s images were captured on surveillance video and released to the public, and they were identified after McCarty allegedly bragged about the burglary at a party Saturday night in Oklahoma City. He was detained by Oklahoma City police and then transferred to the Norman Police Department on complaints of burglary, possession of stolen property, unlawful use of a credit card, and grand larceny. After his arrest, he waived his Miranda rights and confessed.
In the next incident, the teen was protected by a treadmill that was blocking an door to the home, preventing the attempted burglars from entering. Police arrested Joe Weems, 36, and his fiance Teresa Jones, 38, of Oklahoma City, on complaints of attempted first-degree burglary. Investigators say they are searching for another unnamed woman in connection with the attempted break-in.
The name of the homeowner involved in the home-invasion shooting has not been released, but police have identified the intruder who was killed as 20-year-old Marlow Dewayne Wilson, Jr.
Anyone who has been victimized by a burglary can attest to the fear and sense of violation left after someone has entered their home and taken their belongings. When the burglary is a home invasion, in which the break-in occurred while the residents were at home, the result can be much more terrifying. However, with Oklahoma’s Castle Law providing homeowners the right to use lethal force to protect themselves and their family members from intruders, perhaps those who should be the most frightened are the criminals themselves.
- January 6, 2012 – Recently widowed and the mother of a 3-month-old child, 18-year-old Sarah McKinley shot and killed Justin Shane Martin, 24, when he tried to break into her Blanchard home, armed with a knife and looking for drugs
- October 18, 2012 – A 12-year-old girl in Bryan County in southeast Oklahoma shot and injured an intruder who broke into her home. She said a stranger rang the doorbell and then kicked in the back door. The girl hid in a closet, but when the intruder attempted to open the closet door, she shot him through the door. Stacy Jones, 32, was hospitalized over night and then taken to the Bryan County jail.
- March 21, 2013 – After exchanging gunfire with a Texas homeowner when they tried to break into his home, two heavily-armed Oklahoma teenagers died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Police identified the teens as Kenneth Chaffin, 17, and Dillon King, 18, of Bethel Acres in Pottawatomie County.
- April 11, 2013 – A Guthrie woman called police around midnight to report that a naked man had broken into her home and that her husband had shot him. When police arrived, they found Dwight Lewis, 48, dead at the scene. The homeowner was visibly upset said that the intruder lunged at him, so he fired to protect himself, his wife, and his two young children. Lewis lived next door to the home he broke into, and neighbors indicate he had mental health issues and was living with his elderly father.
In Oklahoma, first degree burglary is a felony punishable by 7 to 20 years in prison. However, as many intruders have found out the hard way, when a criminal breaks in to face an armed homeowner, burglary may just be punishable by death.