85-year-old woman kills home intruder in act of self-defence ‘heroism’

Click to play video: '85-year-old woman who killed home intruder in self-defence knew invader: prosecutor'
85-year-old woman who killed home intruder in self-defence knew invader: prosecutor
WATCH: According to officials, the invader and the victim of a Bingham County home invasion that happened nearly a month ago knew each other. Bingham County prosecutor Ryan Jolley says Derek Condon targeted the home of 85-year old Christine Jenneiahn – Apr 12, 2024

Police in Idaho said an 85-year-old woman exhibited “heroism, fortitude, and a will to live” after she fatally shot a man who broke into her home, handcuffed her to a chair and made threats to kill her.

The woman, identified by local authorities as Christine Jenneiahn, was also shot several times during the home invasion on March 13.

Bingham County prosecutor Ryan W. Jolley released a lengthy statement about the attack on Tuesday after the shooting was determined to be in self-defence and was ruled a justifiable homicide.

The home invader, Derek Condon, is believed to have entered Jenneiahn’s home near Blackfoot, Idaho, around 2 a.m. local time while she was sleeping.

Jenneiahn’s son, who Jolley said is disabled, was also asleep in the house at the time of the attack. Jenneiahn told police she was woken by an unfamiliar man in her bedroom. Condon, who was wearing a military jacket and a black ski mask, brandished a gun and a flashlight as he forced Jenneiahn from her bed.

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“Subsequent investigation indicates a strong likelihood that Condon struck Christine in the head as she lay in her bed, as there was blood on the pillow and floor in her room where she’d been sleeping,” Jolley wrote.

Jenneiahn told police she had hit her head at some point during the attack but was unsure when.

Derek Condon's mugshot.
Derek Condon. Bingham Country Sheriff's Office

Condon handcuffed Jenneiahn to a wooden chair in her living room, according to police. While holding his gun, a 9-millimetre pistol, he demanded to know where Jenneiahn kept her valuables.

She pointed Condon to two safes downstairs, which he searched, along with the rest of the house.

At some point while Condon was searching through the basement, Jenneiahn reportedly dragged the chair she was handcuffed to into her bedroom to retrieve a 357-magnum revolver from underneath her pillow. When she returned to the living room, she hid the gun between the armrest and cushion of the couch next to where she’d been seated.

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After his search, authorities said Condon became aggravated because he’d discovered Jenneiahn’s son sleeping in the home. Condon reportedly told Jenneiahn he would kill her.

“Christine’s memory of exactly what occurred next remains somewhat unclear,” the report notes.

Believing that it was “now or never,” Jolley said Jenneiahn drew her concealed revolver and fired twice, striking Condon with both shots.

Condon returned the gunfire, striking Jenneiahn “multiple times” in her abdomen, leg, arm and chest.

Authorities said Condon retreated to the home’s kitchen, where he died from his gunshot wounds.

“Christine fell to the floor still handcuffed in the living room where she remained for approximately 10 hours,” the report states.

She was able to call 911 after her son woke and handed her a phone.

Local outlet East Idaho News reported that Jenneiahn was taken to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls for treatment. She has since been released and is recovering.

Jolley cites Idaho’s self-defence law in the report, which states, “No person in the state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting himself.”

“This case presents an easy analysis of self-defense and justifiable homicide,” Jolley wrote. “It also presents one of the most heroic acts of self-preservation I have heard of.”

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“That Christine survived this encounter is truly incredible,” he continued. “Her grit, determination and will to live appear to be what saved her that night.”

Police later discovered a broken window and a screwdriver at the back of Jenneiahn’s home, near a door where authorities believe Condon entered. His car was also found near the home.

Click to play video: 'Learning about self-defence laws in Canada'
Learning about self-defence laws in Canada

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