Judge: Knife admissible in Miranda Barbour case
SUNBURY - The knife allegedly used by Miranda Barbour in the murder of Troy LaFerrara is admissible as evidence, a Northumberland County judge ruled Monday.
Barbour, 19, and her husband, Elytte Barbour, 22, are charged with the Nov. 11 stabbing death of LeFerrara, 42, of Port Trevorton.
Judge Charles H. Saylor denied Barbour's motion to suppress evidence, including the knife found hidden in insulation in the attic that was obtained in a search of her residence Dec. 9.
Barbour's legal team, led by Public Defender Edward C. Greco, attempted to have the evidence suppressed because Barbour's address - 101 N. Water St., Selinsgrove - was incorrectly written on the search warrant as "101 N. Market St., Selinsgrove."
"While the search warrant made reference to an incorrect street address, it was nonetheless sufficient when read in a common sense fashion as a whole," Saylor said in the eight-page opinion.
Saylor supported this conclusion with a description of the two properties. The home 101 N. Water St. matches the property described on the warrant, "a two-story, single white residence with the numbers 101 on the front," while 101 N. Market St. is a "three-story, yellow brick residence."
The list of occupants on the warrant aids in pointing to the correct property, said Saylor.
Saylor also concluded that even if the search warrant had been found defective, the evidence found in the search would still be permissible in court because a third party, Valerie Spring, was the leaseholder of the property and she granted police permission and aided in the search for the knife.
Spring's testimony at a June 3 hearing supports Saylor's ruling that she voluntarily allowed police to search her home.
"I honestly didn't pay much attention to the search warrant, because, like I said, I had already given them permission to come in and search the house for anything they needed," Spring told the court June 3.
Miranda Barbour had initially told police she threw the knife, which authorities have said appears to be a hunting knife, in the Susquehanna River, but, according to police, her husband provided information about its location in the attic of the house.