A Springfield man has been charged with the city's first murder of the year for allegedly killing his own mother.
Luis Rosa, 41, appeared before a judge Monday afternoon draped in a jacket wearing a hospital gown.
Rosa is facing a variety of charges including the murder of 57-year-old Norma Perez.
In court friends and family tried to hold back tears as Rosa pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
"This has taken a huge toll on the family, none of this should be focused on her son," said close family friend EJ Mandigo. "I don't want to put it anything past that. But, hopefully the love that everyone has for her will be what gets everyone through this."
Police were first alerted to Rosa around midnight after he allegedly stabbed a yellow cab driver in the shoulder with a butcher knife and stole the car.
"The cab driver quickly called 911," said Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney. "Officers were responding to the scene and alertly they saw the cab flying by them."
A high-speed chase ensued and ended when Rosa allegedly hit an off-duty officer's car, spun the cab out of control and flipped it over.
Hours before that police were dispatched to Rosa's mothers home at 17 Saab Court for a well being check. Relatives of Perez weren't able to get in touch with her and forced entry into her home. That's when Perez was found dead on the floor of her apartment.
"The detectives are determining, but more than likely it was some kind of theft or robbery from his mom's apartment there were several items stolen from the apartment itself," said Delaney.
And, as friends and family begin to grieve, they want the world to remember the mother of five and grandmother of several as the larger-than-life woman that she was.
"Loving doesn't even touch the tip of the iceberg," said Mandigo.
Rosa is being held without the right to bail. He is due back in court Feb. 7.
Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation) All rights reserved.
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