85-Year-Old Woman Shot and Killed Intruder After He Handcuffed Her to Chair and Threatened to Kill Her

"Her will to live appeared to be what saved her that night," said the prosecuting attorney

<p>Bingham County Sheriff

Bingham County Sheriff's Office

Derek Condon

Authorities say an 85-year-old woman who shot and killed a 39-year-old man last month had been acting in self-defense after he invaded her home, handcuffed her to a chair and threatened to kill her.

The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of Bingham County in Idaho said in a press release that the woman, identified as Christine Jenneiahn, had been “justified” in killing the man, identified as Derek Condon, under Idaho law based on the information they collected during the investigation.

The incident occurred on March 13 at approximately 2 a.m. local time, according to the prosecuting attorney’s office. The investigation found that Jenneiahn had been asleep in her home when she was “woken up” by Condon, who was dressed in a "military jacket” and a “black ski mask, and who pointed a “gun” at her. Her disabled son, David Jenneiahn, also was in the home at the time.

Authorities said there was a “strong likelihood” that Condon “struck [Christine] in the head” while she was in bed, as there was “blood” found on the pillow and floor where she slept. They said the 39-year-old then “took her to the living room of her house” and “handcuffed her to a wooden chair.”

According to the release, Condon then asked Christine where her valuables were located, “placed his pistol against her head” and “made numerous threats” against her. She eventually told him there were “two safes downstairs." He then proceeded to go downstairs and “rummage” through several rooms.

While he was downstairs, authorities said Christine “drug” the chair that she was handcuffed to into her bedroom and “retrieved her 357 magnum revolver from under her pillow.” She then went back to the living room and hid the gun “between the armrest and cushion of a couch” near where she was seated.

When Condon returned, she “ultimately made the decision that it was ‘now or never’ ” and drew her gun, shooting Condon twice, according to the release. The prosecutor’s office said Condon “returned fire” with his 9mm pistol, “striking her multiple times” in several parts of her body.

Authorities said Condon then “went into the adjoining kitchen” and eventually “died from his wounds,” while Christine fell to the floor while still handcuffed. She eventually called 911 about 10 hours later when her son gave her a phone. They said deputies provided “lifesaving measures to her” at approximately 12:17 p.m.

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The prosecuting attorney’s office said that evidence found in Christine's home backed up her story, including a broken window in the rear of the home and a screwdriver found next to the door where Condon entered. Condon's car was also found near the woman’s own car with a trail of footprints leading from it.

Rylan Jolley, the Bingham County Prosecuting Attorney, said the case is an example of “self-defense and justifiable homicide” under Idaho laws.

“It also presents one of the most heroic acts of self-preservation I have heard of,” Jolley said in a statement in the release. “Any reasonable person would believe it necessary to defend themselves or their disabled child under such circumstances."

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

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