Charges against Elyett Barbour bound for court, too
SUNBURY – It took just 30 minutes for homicide and other charges against Elyett Barbour to be bound for court at his preliminary hearing this afternoon before Magisterial District Judge Benjamin Apfelbaum. The hearing this morning for his wife, Miranda, took more than three hours, but with the same result.
The Barbours, who had moved to Selinsgrove from North Carolina a few weeks before they allegedly stabbed and strangled Troy LaFerrara, 42, of Port Trevorton, in what police said was a planned killing, are both likely headed for trial next year.
At her hearing, Miranda K. Barbour told police she didn’t want to leave the state police barracks after her interview about her role in LaFerrara’s death because she knew they would eventually come for her and she just wanted to get it over with.
That’s what state police Trooper Brent Bobb testified to at her preliminary hearing.
All charges against Miranda Barbour, 19, of Selinsgrove, were bound to court following the proceeding, which wrapped up about 1 p.m. It’s expected she’ll seek a trial on homicide, assault, robbery, conspiracy and other charges.
The same charges were bound for court against her husband during his hearing, which started about 2 p.m.
The couple allegedly planned to kill LaFerrara after he arranged through Craigslist to pay Miranda Barbour for companionship, according to a confession Elyett Barbour gave to police. He hid in the back seat and, at a signal from his wife, wrapped a cable around the defendant’s neck while she began to stab him, 20 times, according to the autopsy.
LaFerrara, who was married, was an engineer who served on the Union-Chapman Township Regional Sewer Authority in Snyder County and was previously a Chapman Township supervisor.
Public Defender Edward Greco specifically tried to have charges of criminal conspiracy to commit homicide and criminal conspiracy to commit robbery dismissed against Miranda Barbour, arguing the evidence was hearsay. But District Attorney Tony Rosini said the prosecution wasn’t obligated to provide all of its evidence at the preliminary hearing, and Magisterial District Judge Benjamin Apfelbaum agreed in moving all of the charges forward.
About 45 minutes of the three-plus-hour hearing involved watching surveillance video from the Selinsgrove Walmart, where, authorities say, the Barbours went to purchase supplies to clean LaFerrara’s blood from Miranda Barbour’s car after the killing. The footage wasn’t clear, but police said it showed both of the defendants get out of the car, but only Elyett Barbou enter the store while Miranda Barbour got back in the car. It showed who police said was Elyett Barbour walking up and down aisles.
Daniel Marks, a loss prevention employee at the store, briefly testified to say he provided police with the tapes.
Also testifying were Northumberland County Coroner James Kelley and Sunbury police officers Jamie Quinn and Travis Bremigen.
Greco said afterward he couldn’t comment on the general condition of his client or whether or not she has expressed remorse.
Jim Best, an independent conflicts counselor and Elyett’s Barbour’s lawyer, said he was hopeful the defendants’ cases could have been merged to save time and resources. He expects considerable repetition in this afternoon’s hearing.
He said he’ll move to consolidate the trials should Elyett Barbour take the same course as his wife.
There was no discussion of the potential for the death penalty for the Barbours, although the alleged premeditation and the commission of a felony while carrying out the alleged killing would be two key determining factors in pursuing that sentence. Greco and Best are both certified as death penalty attorneys.