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Police investigating fatal home invasion in Penn Hills

Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review - An investigator from the Medical Examiner's office walks toward her vehicle with evidence gathered inside a home on Edinburg Drive in Penn Hills, Wednesday, December 19th, 2012.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review</em></div>An investigator from the Medical Examiner's office walks toward her vehicle with evidence gathered inside a home on Edinburg Drive in Penn Hills, Wednesday, December 19th, 2012.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review - Amid Christmas decorations, assistant superintendent of Allegheny County Police Jim Morton (right,) along with detectives and investigators from the Medical Examiner's office compare notes outside a home on Edinburg Drive in Penn Hills, Wednesday, December 19th, 2012.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review</em></div>Amid Christmas decorations, assistant superintendent of Allegheny County Police Jim Morton (right,) along with detectives and investigators from the Medical Examiner's office compare notes outside a home on Edinburg Drive in Penn Hills, Wednesday, December 19th, 2012.

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By Margaret Harding
Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, 11:24 a.m.
 

A Penn Hills homeowner overpowered and fatally stabbed one of three men who followed his wife inside and invaded their home Wednesday morning, police said.

Three men wearing ski masks went into the garage of the woman's home on Edinburg Drive about 7:30 a.m. as she returned from taking her children to school, said James Morton, assistant superintendent of Allegheny County Police.

The suspects struggled with her husband, who fatally wounded one of the men, pushed the invader out of the front door and then fled with his wife, Morton said. The couple feared for their safety when they left, Morton said.

The Medical Examiner's Office said the man, who carried no identification, died of a single stab wound in the back but suffered other non-fatal stab wounds in his neck and back.

“It's random as far as we know,” Morton said. “We found nothing suspicious in the home.”

Neighbors described the couple, identified as Eric and Ketisha Timbers, as pleasant people who married about a year ago. Kevin Barefoot, who lives next door, said Eric Timbers is a power-lifter. The couple could not be reached for comment.

“He's a very big man,” Barefoot said. “I wouldn't want to tangle with him. He's the kind of neighbor you want to have.”

Barefoot said his daughter often plays with one of the couple's children. He said he stepped out of his house with his dog and saw a man's body on the Timbers' front porch. He used the TV show “SpongeBob SquarePants” to keep his daughters distracted as investigators gathered evidence outside.

“Just the fact that it could be something random is really terrifying,” Barefoot said. “It's something to try to process right now.”

The other two suspects fled in a newer-model, black Chrysler 300, police said.

Penn Hills police Chief Howard Burton said officers haven't had any issues at the Edinburg Drive house. Morton said the homeowners were cooperative, and police are investigating the incident as a home invasion.

“It's a quiet area in Penn Hills,” said Tom Colcombe, who lives across the street. “I think the biggest reaction is that it was a random. That's the part that bothers me a lot. It could've been anybody's home. The folks that did this picked on the wrong person.”

Laws allow people to use deadly force when attacked in their home. In August, county police charged a Port Vue man with drug possession, but not with the fatal shooting of one of the two men who broke into his home and tried to rob him of marijuana.

Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or mharding@tribweb.com.

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