Donora invasion suspect held for court
Norma Micher said she can still remember the look in home invasion suspect Errin Rose's eyes.
She can also recall the fear she experienced when the Donora man allegedly robbed her in her Rostraver Township home July 29.
“I was scared,” Micher said. “I knew I did something wrong. I thought ‘Uh, oh! Here we go!'”
Micher testified Monday about the night prosecutors say Rose, posing as a distressed motorist, robbed Micher of about $150 in cash inside her home.
Following the preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Charles Christner in West Newton, Rose was ordered held for court on two counts of robbery and one count each of burglary, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property.
He was sent to the Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $500,000 straight-cash bond.
Micher, the lone witness, said she was lying on the couch at 1:40 a.m. watching television when Rose arrived on her doorstep asking to use her telephone because his vehicle was out of gas.
Micher did not let him in, but made two telephone calls for Rose, she said. Both numbers went right to voice mail.
Micher testified that she offered to give him a gas can and told him to meet her outside her garage. She said he looked “somewhat familiar” and Rose allegedly told her he had shoveled snow for her previously.
Micher said she got a good look at Rose when she opened the garage door to give him the gas can because her garage is well lit.
“When I first saw him, I noticed his eyes,” Micher said.
Micher said the suspect stepped inside her garage and told her to close the door. That's when she came to the realization that she was in danger. The door would not close for her despite three attempts.
“He said, ‘I have a gun,'” Micher recalled. “I was real scared then.”
Micher said Rose escorted her upstairs and made her open her purse, taking 50 $1 bills.
“He said, ‘I need more money than that,'” Micher testified.
She said she reached into a separate compartment in the purse and handed him five $20 bills as well.
Rose then ripped the telephone from the wall, Micher testified, and ordered the 80-year-old woman to remove her nightgown and robe.
“He said, ‘I didn't touch you,'” she recalled.
Micher said he ordered her to sit on the couch for 10 minutes after he left the house. She claimed he told her he had someone watching the house to make sure she did not look out.
“I was terrified, but I argued with him,” Micher said. “I asked him, ‘Why are you doing this? I trusted you.'”
Asked by Assistant District Attorney Karen Patterson if she feared for her life, Micher replied, “I didn't know what to expect. I was in fear for my safety.”
Though speaking softly through her testimony, she remained undaunted under defense cross examination from public defender Chris Huffman.
When Huffman asked what shoes Rose was wearing, Micher said, “I didn't see what kind of shoes he was wearing. I wasn't interested in his feet.”
When Huffman asked if Rose was wearing gloves that night, Micher said, “I didn't notice if he was wearing gloves. I was staring at his eyes.”
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.