Miranda Barbour back in court
SUNBURY - Accused murderer Miranda Barbour will be back in court this morning for a suppression hearing involving a claim by her attorneys that her alleged confession to authorities was obtained illegally.
Northumberland County Chief Public Defender Edward Greco said Monday the primary purpose of the hearing will pertain to the alleged murder confession. A gag order request also has been made in the case and may be discussed in court or the chambers of Northumberland County Judge Charles Saylor, who will preside at the hearing.
Barbour, 19, and her 22-year-old husband, Elytte, of Selinsgrove, are charged by Sunbury police with criminal homicide and related offenses in the Nov. 11 stabbing death of 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara of Port Trevorton.
Greco and assistant public defender Paieg Rosini claim the alleged confession given to police was obtained illegally because their client was not provided an attorney during interviews Dec. 1 and 2. The defense is seeking to suppress all statements provided at the interviews.
The attorneys also previously filed motions seeking separate trials for the couple, a change of venue (moving the trial outside the county) and/or venire (selecting a jury from outside the county) because of the extensive publicity surrounding the case. Some people have referred to the Barbours as the "Craigslist killers" because LaFerrara answered Miranda Barbour's Internet ad offering companionship for money prior to being killed.
The defense lawyers also want to quash aggravating circumstances in the case that would allow the commonwealth to seek the death penalty. Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Rosini, who is prosecuting the case, previously pointed out that police allege torture was used and a felony offense of robbery (LaFerrara's wallet was stolen) was committed during the killing. Torture and robbery are among 18 aggravating circumstances in death penalty cases in Pennsylvania.
Miranda Barbour has been moved from SCI-Muncy to Northumberland County Prison in Sunbury for the hearing. Her husband remains incarcerated at the county jail.