85-Year-Old Woman Prevails in a Deadly Idaho Home Invasion

by Vern Evans

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In the quiet early hours of March 13, 2024, in Bingham County, Idaho, an 85-year-old woman, Christine Jenneiahn, turned a terrifying home invasion into a remarkable story of courage, self-defense and survival. The Bingham County Prosecutor, Ryan W. Jolley, released a comprehensive review of the incident that has since captivated the local community and beyond.

The ordeal began around 2:00 am when Jenneiahn was abruptly awakened by an intruder, later identified as Derek Condon, who had broken into her home. Dressed in a military jacket and black ski mask, Condon not only threatened Jenneiahn with a gun and flashlight but also handcuffed her and struck her in the head, as indicated by the blood found on her pillow and floor.

After being drug from her bed into the living room and handcuffed to a wooden chair , the elderly woman was interrogated by Condon about the whereabouts of valuables. She told him about two safes downstairs in the house but noted she didn’t have many “valuables.” Condon went downstairs and began rummaging around the house. He discovered her disabled son was there and grew angry, again threatening her for not telling him.

While he was downstairs, Jenneiahn, despite being 85 years old and handcuffed to her chair, seized the opportunity and dragged the chair to her bedroom where she retrieved her .357 Magnum hidden under her pillow. She then made her way back to the living room where she strategically hid the weapon within reach.

When Condon returned, Jenneiahn, decided it was “now or never” and shot Condon with precision, hitting him with both shots. Despite the fatal wounds, Condon managed to fire back, wounding Jenneiahn multiple times. The assailant stumbled into the kitchen where he succumbed to his injuries, while Jenneiahn, still handcuffed, lay injured for approximately 10 hours until her son was able to get her a phone so she could call for help.

The investigation that followed pieced together the harrowing events of that night, including the discovery of Condon’s car and evidence of his forced entry into Jenneiahn’s home. Prosecutor Jolley’s statement underscored the clear justification of Jenneiahn’s actions under Idaho law, praising her heroic self-preservation and the necessity of her defense in the face of a direct and lethal threat to her and her son.

Jenneiahn’s story is not just a testament to her bravery but also a profound example of the law’s recognition of the right to defend oneself. The Bingham County prosecutor’s analysis concluded that had Condon survived, he would have faced multiple serious charges. Instead, the focus remains on Christine Jenneiahn’s incredible survival and the justifiable actions she took during those terrifying moments in her own home.

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