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What would you do if you felt your child's life or well-being was on the line? Parents are forced to make hard decisions every day, and none harder than choices that have to do with their children's safety. From cases involving abuse to kidnapping, these eight mothers and fathers said they killed to protect their kids.
Widowed Mom Shoots Intruder
A week after her husband passed away from cancer, two men armed with hunting knives tried to break into 18-year-old Sarah McKinley’s home where she was alone with her newborn son. Mckinley (pictured) told ABCNews.com that she got on the phone with a 9-1-1 dispatcher, asking if she could shoot them if they succeeded at kicking in the door. "I can't tell you that you can do that, but you do what you have to do to protect your baby," the operator said. The men did break in, and McKinley fired her pistol, killing the 24-year-old intruder. “I wouldn’t have done it, but it was my son,” she said. “There’s nothing more dangerous than a woman with a child.”
On June 9, a 4-year-old Texas girl wandered away from a gathering of family and friends at her father's ranch when a casual acquaintance attempted to molest her on the property. According to a report on FoxNews, when her father—who remains unidentified—walked in on the attempted attack, he began beating the man to get him off his daughter. “In the course of trying to get her away from him, and protect her, he struck the subject several times in the head and the subject died,” Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon told FoxNews. Police said the little girl was OK but was still recovering from the trauma of the evening, and that the father was “very remorseful.” They were not planning to arrest the father at press time, but an investigation was under way. “You have the right to defend your daughter,” said Harmon.
Last December, a Philadelphia mother killed a man moments after he allegedly robbed and fatally shot her son in their apartment building. According to ABCNews.com, authorities said the woman, who had a permit to carry a gun, heard a commotion and rushed upstairs to see a 19-year-old armed man attacking her son, 23. A neighbor reported hearing two shots, and then three rapid ones. Chief Inspector Scott Small told reporters: "It appears preliminarily that she was intervening in a robbery that was being committed against her son and she had to use deadly force."
In 1998, Mari Carmen Garcia set fire to and killed the man who was convicted of raping her 13-year-old daughter. While a Spanish jury found her guilty of murder and sentenced her to nine-and-a-half years behind bars, her jail time was later reduced and then lifted after a petition of 5,000 signatures was submitted to authorities. She served a little over a year, according to The Telegraph.
Next: Mom Kills One-Year-Old’s Abuser
Mom Kills 1-Year-Old’s Abuser
According to the Chicago Tribune, 23-year-old Laquita Calhoun was bathing her 1-year-old daughter when she noticed signs of sexual abuse. She approached her neighbor, Alonzo Jones, who reportedly confessed to the crime, along with the molestation of another neighbor's child, witnesses said. The Chicago mother and several other people allegedly apprehended Jones and proceeded to beat him in an alley and kill him, police said. Calhoun was sentenced to 67 years in prison for the 2004 act, but attorneys have appealed for a reduction to 20 years, insisting the judge did not allow for the “undeniably egregious nature of the provocation” that prompted the killing.
A Georgia mother who was sexually assaulted by a man who broke into her home wearing a ski mask and carrying a gun took action when he threatened to do the same to her daughter. According to Fox News, when the attacker told her he was going to assault her 6-year-old daughter who was locked in her bedroom closet, the woman found a butcher’s knife and killed him in a fight during which she also suffered stab wounds. The mother was airlifted to a hospital for treatment, but her daughter remained unharmed.
Father Shoots Son’s Kidnapper
Jeffrey Doucet was being transported by the FBI on charges of kidnapping Gary Plauche's 11-year-old son when the father fatally shot him at the Baton Rouge airport in 1984. The Los Angeles Times reported that Doucet, a karate instructor who was suspected of continuously molesting the boy, was being filmed by a television crew when the shooting took place. Plauche pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of manslaughter, and a judge later ruled that Doucet did not know right or wrong at the time of the shooting. "In this case, if there is anything that is unusual, it is because both sides are victims. Both sides suffered," said Judge Frank Saia.
Mother Kills Ex-Husband
Dolores Markee was sentenced to 58 years in a Texas prison for killing her ex-husband, whom she claimed had been sexually molesting her 3-year-old daughter for years, according to a story by the Ocala-Star Banner. Markee, who had previously lost custody of her daughter, emotionally confessed on the witness stand to shooting George Paouris in the genitals multiple times when she discovered sexual abuse charges against him were going to be dropped. She turned down a plea bargain that would have given her just 20 years of jail time, and had no prior criminal record at the time of the incident.