Man gets probation after shooting woman who intended to kill him
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BLACKFOOT — A Bingham County man was sentenced on Monday after he fired a gun at a woman who intended to kill him with the same weapon.
Andrew Young, 32, will spend four years on felony probation after District Judge Darren Simpson suspended a two to five-year prison sentence. Young pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement to felony unlawful discharge of a firearm at an occupied vehicle. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors also dismissed two felony counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and use of a deadly weapon enhancement.
On Aug. 29, 2019, Isabelle Jolley, 19, entered Young’s home with a loaded handgun intending to kill him and herself. Jolly proceeded to point the gun at Young while he lay on the couch, pulling the trigger. The gun did not fire and Young hit it out of Jolley’s hands before she ran outside. Young then picked up the gun himself, followed Jolley and fired several times as she drove away. A bullet hit Jolley in the leg.
“It’s pretty clear he was a little confused how far he could go into defending himself,” Defense attorney Brianna Rosier said. “He stopped shooting as soon as he was aware he could’ve been hurting anybody outside of the vehicle.”
Rosier told Simpson she felt Young holds no danger to the community and probation would best help him. She said Young has been clean from drugs for some time and has a better understanding of self-defense laws and how to react to a similar situation. She also cited Young’s mental illnesses as a reason he should receive probation.
“This was a pretty unique case that even rivals the best of the hypotheticals of law school,” Bingham County Prosecutor Paul Rogers said. “It was pretty hard to…understand where to draw a line in this case. Not to sound too much like a defense attorney for Mr. Young, but Mr. Young woke up with an intruder in his home and a gun pointed in his face.”
Rogers said Young’s reaction to the situation by disarming his attacker and chasing after her serves as a reminder for people to know the self-defense laws in their community. Rogers also said he felt comfortable with probation, knowing Young cooperated the entire time.
“I’m really sorry the charges happened. I wish I knew more of the self-defense laws when the night that happened,” Young said before receiving the sentence. “I’m not much of a hunter. I don’t own guns. I have two bb guns. I don’t like guns, honestly.”
Since that night, Young said he’s been on a path of “being a better me.” With a brief smile, he mentioned he is “so proud of himself,” and the progress he has made.
Before sentencing Young, Simpson said a presentence investigator recommended Young be placed on a retained jurisdiction or rider program. A rider is where the judge orders the person to spend up to 365 days in the prison system in an intensive treatment program. When the inmate completes the program, the judge can then decide to send them back to prison or release them on probation.
“As parties have indicated, this is a different set of circumstances,” Simpson said. “Where do you draw the line of self-defense? I can not imagine waking up being startled in the dead of night with somebody pointing a gun at me and actually pulling the trigger.”
Simpson said he also could not imagine disarming the intruder after the gun misfired. He said the issue boils down to what a person does after the fact and there is an argument as to what is acceptable.
“I think it’s clear once that individual is out of your home — that’s where you kind of cross the line,” Simpson said.
Young will also have to pay $1,805.50 in fees and fines and complete 100 hours of community service.
In June, Simpson also sentenced Jolley. However, she will spend five to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with a felony enhancement. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors amended the charge from felony attempted first-degree murder and felony burglary.