UPDATE: Elytte Barbour joins wife with second-degree homicide plea
SUNBURY – Elytte Barbour has joined his wife in pleading guilty to second-degree homicide in the stabbing death of Troy LaFerrara.
The “Craigslist killers” appeared for pre-trial conferences before Judge Charles Saylor this morning as the case against them was progressing toward high-profile trials. Sentencing has been scheduled for both defendants on Sept. 18.
They also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, robbery and possessing an instrument of crime.
The guilty pleas eliminates the chance that the Barbours could be sentenced to death.
Former District Attorney Tony Rosini said he had planned to seek the death penalty for the Barbours, citing pre-meditation as among the aggravating circumstances that would allow that sentence.
The Barbours are charged with the Nov. 11 slaying of LaFerrara, 42, of Port Trevorton.
They are accused of killing LaFerrara in Miranda Barbour’s vehicle in Sunbury and dumping his body near an alley in the backyard of a Catawissa Avenue home. It was discovered the next morning.
They are also charged with stealing LaFerrara’s wallet, containing $250.
The Barbour, who had moved to Selinsgrove from North Carolina a few weeks before the homicide, allegedly planned to kill LaFerrara after he arranged through Craigslist to pay Miranda Barbour for companionship, according to a confession Elytte Barbour gave to police. He said they wanted to “kill someone together” and, after other attempts, their plan with LaFerrara worked.
The victim, from Port Trevorton, was a married engineer who once served as a supervisor in Chapman Township.
Miranda Barbour, who was charged Dec. 3, told police she met LaFerrara at the Susquehanna Valley Mall and drove to Sunbury, but when LaFerrara began to grope her and put his hand on her neck, she stabbed him. She said she turned herself in because she knew police “would eventually come for her and she just wanted to get it over with.”
Following his wife’s arraignment, Elytte Barbour maintained he was unaware of the stabbing, but confessed to police three days later that he played a part in the gruesome scene, and he was then charged. He said he hid under a blanket in the back seat of his wife’s car the night of the murder, and when his wife gave a pre-planned signal, Elytte Barbour put a cable around LaFerrara’s neck and strangled him while his wife stabbed him, police said.
A black electrical cable was found with the body, police said.
They had tried to kill others, according to the affidavit in Elytte Barbour’s arrest, but weren’t able to follow through on their plans until LaFerrara, he told police.