New charges allege that a Sept. 18 burglary in Poulsbo was not the first time Erik Nordlie entered the victim’s home.
The 43-year-old Poulsbo man charged last week with residential burglary and assault, will face additional charges after investigators discovered evidence alleging that he entered the victim’s home between Sept. 15 and 16, and utilized a key fob to access her vehicle and steal a credit card.
Charging documents state that Nordlie can be seen on surveillance footage making four fraudulent transactions at stores in Poulsbo and Silverdale with the stolen credit card. The victim told authorities that her car had been prowled before the Sept. 18 incident, which occurred as she and her children were asleep, documents say.
In the Sept. 18 incident, the victim alleges she awakened to find Nordlie touching her leg and was able to reach for her cellphone and photograph Nordlie as he was fleeing the scene. Police later discovered items missing from the victim’s home at Nordlie’s residence and also matched his clothes to those which appeared to be worn by the subject in the photo.
Nordlie was arraigned following the Sept. 18 break-in and later posted bail on a $10,000 bond. Since his release, Nordlie has been arrested again and was arraigned for the additional charges on Wednesday, Sept. 27. Nordlie will now face charges on eight additional counts: one for residential burglary, two counts of identity theft in the second degree, four counts of possession of stolen property in the second degree and one count of theft in the second degree.
During Wednesday’s arraignment, Judge Jeffrey Bassett regarded Nordlie’s initial bail amount as being too low given the nature of the allegations. For the new charges, the judge set bail concurrently at $40,000.
The victim, Julia Weston, recently described the night she awoke to find a stranger in her bedroom.
“When I opened my eyes, I could see there was a figure crouched at the end of my bed. It took me a few moments to realize that it was a person,” Weston said. “I was absolutely terrified for my life. I tried to make the best decision for what I thought would keep me safe.”
Recalling the manner in which the intruder touched her leg, Weston said she felt that there was a sexual motivation as well. “I felt that at any moment it was possible that he could have raped me,” she said. Weston also noted that as all of this was happening, her 9-year-old daughter slept beside her in the bed.
“My thoughts were that I needed to protect her,” she said. “Because I couldn’t see this person’s face and I didn’t think I would be able to make a clear identification of what he looked like, I reached for my phone.”
Weston determined that there wouldn’t be adequate time for responders to arrive if she were to call 911 and instead chose to take a photo of the man using her phone’s camera. Weston said the intruder was startled by the phone’s built-in flash and quickly exited the room. Weston said that as the man fled, she gave chase, shouting at the intruder to scare him away.
“At the time, I felt like I needed to be as big and as loud and as scary as I could be,” she said. “I needed to make sure he exited my house.”
When asked how the incident has affected her peace of mind, Weston explained that the revelation that the suspect — Erik Nordlie — lives only some 500 feet away, has left her and her family uneasy.
“I’m terrified to go to sleep at night. I picture the scene of waking up and seeing him next to my bed. I can’t sleep. I feel afraid at home. I’m afraid for my family,” Weston said.
The Weston family also expressed their outrage at the fact that Nordlie was able to initially post bail for only $10,000. At Nordlie’s arraignment on Wednesday, Wade Weston, Julia’s husband, said the family is now even considering moving away.
“He’s going to be out probably tonight,” Wade Weston said. “Are we happy with that? Absolutely not.”
—Nick Twietmeyer is a reporter with Kitsap News Group. Nick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org