UPDATED: Police say husband strangled LaFerrara while wife stabbed him
SUNBURY - Police say Miranda K. Barbour didn't act alone when she stabbed Troy LaFerrara to death with a knife last month in her car. Barbour's husband, Elyett, who was hiding in the back seat, held a cable around LaFerrara's throat while she plunged the knife into him some 20 times.
That's what investigators said Elyett Barbour told them in a confession that led to his arrest Friday night on homicide and other charges. He also told police they committed the crime because they wanted to "murder someone together," according to the affidavit.
Miranda, 18, and Elyett Barbour, 22, who recently moved to 101 N. Water St., Selinsgrove, from North Carolina, are both now in prison, not eligible for bail because of the homicide charge against each of them.
She was charged Tuesday in the stabbing death of LaFerrara, 42, of Port Trevorton, while Elyett Barbour was charged Friday and arraigned before the same magisterial district, Benjamin Apfelbaum.
In his interview with police Friday, Elyett Barbour began to admit he was involved in LaFerrara's death. He said he and Miranda had planned to murder someone and with LaFerrara, "it was just the one with whom the planned worked."
They had tried to kill others, according to the affidavit, but those plans didn't work out, Elyett Barbour told police.
"So they continued to try to find someone" to kill, according to the affidavit.
On the night of Nov. 11, Elyett Barbour hid under a blanket in the back seat of Miranda Barbour's 2001 Honda CRV when she drove to the Susquehanna Valley Mall to meet LaFerrara. They then drove to Sunbury and used a pre-planned signal for Elyett to know it was time "to kill the victim."
When the signal, which police did not identify, was given, Elyett Barbour used a cable cord to strangle and hold back LaFerrara's hedad while his wife stabbed the victim.
Elyett Barbour had been interviewed as part of the investigation that led to his wife's arrest, but had told police he wasn't aware of her having allegedly killed LaFerrara, then dump his body along a Sunbury alley. Police said the killing occurred sometime between the evening hours of Nov. 11 and 11:26 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, when the body was discovered in a backyard by neighbors.
Miranda Barbour told police she met men through the Internet, would spend time with them and was paid for the companionship.
She admitted to police she stabbed LaFerrara, but said she did so after he groped her and grabbed her by the neck inside her vehicle in Sunbury. Barbour told police she "blacked out" after stabbing LaFerrara two or three times and didn't remember the rest of the time she was apparently stabbing him, police said.
She then drove around Sunbury for some time while the victim was choking and gasping for air. She eventually left his limp body fall out the door of her car, cleaned the blood from the car and headed to Harrisburg with her husband to celebrate his birthday, she told police.
She told police that she took LaFerrara's wallet from his pants before driving away.
LaFerrara's body was discovered at the rear of 240 Catawissa Ave.
An autopsy conducted by forensic pathologist Dr. Rameen Starling-Romey at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown revealed that LaFerrara died from multiple sharp force trauma. In addition to being stabbed 20 times, the doctor did not rule out the possibility that the victim was strangled.
Upon searching the victim's body, police found a Verizon cell phone bearing a traceable number in his pocket.
LaFerrera's black Chevy S-10 pickup truck was recovered Nov. 13 in the Susquehanna Valley Mall parking lot, where police believe he met Miranda Barbour.
Elyett Barbour had told police prior to his wife's arrest that he knew of her apparent escort work and was OK with it because it didn't involve sex. He said he knew she carried a knife with her during the encounters.
Miranda Barbour had told police that she didn't tell her husband about the stabbing until just before going to the state police station Tuesday in Selinsgrove prior to being charged.