Elytte Barbour to return to county prison; Miranda stays at SCI-Muncy
SUNBURY - Accused killer Miranda Barbour will remain at State Correctional Institution-Muncy (SCI-Muncy) for the time being, but her husband, Elytte, will be moved to Northumberland County Prison.
At Tuesday morning's prison board meeting, Warden Roy Johnson said it costs less to house Miranda Barbour at Muncy then her husband at Columbia County Prison, where he has been held since Dec. 6. It costs the county $65 a day at Muncy and $100 at Columbia County.
District Attorney Tony Rosini requested the two suspects remain in separate facilities.
The international attention around Barbour's claim to The Daily Item that she killed more than 22 people has disrupted security and efficiency at the prison, Johnson said. "It made it very, very difficult to focus on all the issues of all the inmates," Johnson said. Nineteen-year-old Miranda Barbour and 22-year-old Elytte Barbour are charged in the Nov. 11 slaying of Troy LaFerrara in Sunbury. Miranda Barbour's attorney, county chief public defender Edward Greco, filed a motion Monday to return her to the county prison. She was moved to Muncy on Friday. County commissioner and prison board member Vinny Clausi questioned why Johnson moved Miranda Barbour before her mother and grandmother could complete their 600-mile drive from North Carolina to see her. Johnson said he waited an extra day. They were supposed to come Thursday, but they apparently didn't show up until the next day. The commissioner asked the warden several times why the inmates couldn't be kept in the same prison, but Rosini cut him off several times, and the two argued for a moment. "There are other issues involved here that cannot be discussed in an open meeting," Rosini said. He urged Clausi to call an executive session if he wanted to be updated on certain details of the case, but such a meeting was not called.
An executive session was held from 10 to 11 a.m. to discuss potential litigation, personnel and investigative issues, but Clausi did not attend that meeting, Rosini said. Clausi and Commissioner Stephen Bridy have both been critical of the warden's actions related to a visitor's policy as it applies to Miranda Barbour, including that involving Daily Item reporter Francis Scarcella, who was on Barbour's visitor's list but was initially prevented from meeting with her. Bridy reiterated his mistrust of Johnson and prison Commander Brian Wheary, and both he and Clausi voted against accepting the warden's report and other motions involving the warden. In response to media interest in the Barbour case, the prison board is considering adopting a new policy on visitation and press. Commissioner Rick Shoch, board vice chairman, said the law allows restrictions on inmates' visitors, limiting them to family, legal representations and "friends of prior acquaintance." "We have no obligation to allow face-to-face interviews. It puts a strain on the prison," he said. However, this would not restrict inmates from calling reporters or exchanging mail with them, Shoch said. "It balances the needs of the prison and the rights of prisoners," he said. Solicitor John Muncer will review the policy and make a recommendation at a future meeting.