When the old lady hears a "tinkling" sound on the front porch she
walks into her bedroom, pulls back the shade a tiny bit, and then
quickly jumps backward! She's terrified.
A pane of glass is now broken and through the opening she sees a man's
hand reaching in to unlatch the window lock.
The woman replays, in her mind, the vision of what she'd just seen. The
intruder is a scruffy looking man, maybe thirty. There's no doubt in her
mind that the stranger is breaking into her home.
Scared to death, she backs up toward the dresser, then turns and slowly
pulls open the top drawer. There, black and shiny, is her late husband's
.38-caliber revolver. She picks up the fully loaded gun. Holding it with
trembling hands, she points it toward the window shade.
The gun (a double action model) is not cocked and it takes all of her
strength to pull the trigger. She fires only one shot, then tosses the
gun on the bed. Terrified, she runs into the bathroom, locks the door,
and stays there for a long while.
After she summons up enough courage, she peeks out the front door and
sees a man crumpled up on the porch directly under her bedroom window.
He is very still.
Sheriff's deputies say the man has a single bullet wound in his right
temple. "He very likely never even heard the shot," an investigator
says. "The window had already been unlocked. The man was only seconds
away from making his entry."
Records show the dead man had a long criminal history. He'd just
finished serving time in prison for burglary. Back on the street for
less than a few weeks, he was practicing his old trade.
There's no way to know what might have happened had the old woman chosen
not to shoot. Friends and family of the former convict are critical.
Some practice low-level harassment, like driving very slowly past her
house several times each day.
The woman is dubbed "Granny Gun" by the media and she's charged with
murder. The sheriff explains the formal charge is for her own
protection. A circuit court judge dismisses the indictment and, with
"double jeopardy" protection, the woman is safe from ever being charged
again for shooting the man who was breaking into her home.