Miranda Barbour's attorney disputes assertion of aggravating circumstances
SUNBURY - The attorney for accused murderer Miranda Barbour claims an autopsy report doesn't contain information to support the commonwealth's assertion that the homicide was committed by means of torture, which is one of the aggravating circumstances necessary to seek the death penalty.
Northumberland County Chief Public Defender Edward Greco filed a supplemental motion shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday to quash aggravating circumstances. District attorney Tony Rosini previously said the homicide was committed by means of torture and in the commission of a robbery, which is another felony offense. Torture and robbery are both aggravating circumstances.
The 19-year-old Barbour and her 22-year-old husband, Elytte Barbour, of Selinsgrove, are charged by Sunbury police with murdering 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara, whose body was found Nov. 11 in the backyard of a home in the 200 block of Catawissa Avenue.
A motion to quash aggravating circumstances was filed by Greco Feb. 5 as part of the defendant's omnibus pre-trial motion. A hearing was held before Judge Charles Saylor on the motion April 1 and a decision is pending.
On March 31, defense counsel received a packet of discovery evidence that was not reviewed by Greco or assistant public defender Paige Rosini until after the April 1 hearing. Included in the packet was a report prepared by Trooper Christine M. Fye on Nov. 22 that contains information obtained by the trooper at LaFerrara's autopsy Nov. 13.
Greco said the report states there is no indication the victim was tortured and he's requesting the court to open the record to allow testimony on the matter.