Barbours plead guilty to murder
SUNBURY – A newlywed couple will not get the death penalty after admitting to stabbing a Port Trevorton man to death. 19-year-old Miranda Barbour and her husband 22-year-old Elytte Barbour plead guilty Tuesday to killing 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara.
In exchange for their pleas, the death penalty was taken off the table and both will receive a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Formal sentencing for both will be held next month. According to Northumberland County District Attorney Ann Targonski, not holding trial for the Barbours will likely save the county nearly $1 million.
The incident happened in November, and Sunbury Police Chief Brad Hare says the department has been working tirelessly since then, “The case really was wrapped up quickly, they did an excellent job of pulling everything together. We are pretty proud of them and pretty proud as a Sunbury Police Department. We are glad it is behind us now, so hopefully we can move on from here.”
Miranda Barbour pled guilty about an hour before Elytte Barbour was in court and pled the same way. Each face charges of second degree murder, aggravated assault, robbery and possessing instruments of a crime.
Targonski gave credit to the Sunbury Police officers, Jaime Quinn, Travis Bremigen and Chris Blase, who were the lead in the investigation, “They worked endlessly on this case and put in many hours on their own, off the clock. The three of them worked so hard to pull it together to make an ironclad case for the Commonwealth. It was excellent police work that led to this resolution.”
In Northumberland County Court, Judge Charles Saylor reviewed the charges with both Miranda and Elytte Barbour. Each answered, “Yes” when asked if they understood to what charges they were pleading guilty.
The Barbours plead guilty to meeting LaFerrara in the parking lot of the Susquehanna Valley Mall November 11. From there, they drove to Sunbury, where Miranda admits she stabbed LaFerrara. At that time, Elytte admits to strangling LaFerrara, while Miranda continued to stab him. The couple then dropped his body in the lawn of a home in Sunbury before driving away.
LaFerrara’s wife, Colleen, and family were in court Tuesday. Colleen could be seen crying when both made their guilty pleas. Sunbury police corporal Jaime Quinn has been in close contact with the LaFerrara family since the incident, “They are a wonderful family and every win we get in this case is a bittersweet win for them, but they seem to be content, less stressed and I think they are content with the turn of things.”
In a February jailhouse interview with The Daily Item, Miranda Barbour admitted to killing at least 22 other people. While no charges have been filed, Bremigen says he is now going to focus on Barbours additional claims and will be working with law enforcement in several states, including Alaska and North Carolina, to see if these claims are substantiated. Targonski says none of the allegations are in Northumberland County’s jurisdiction, but police and the DA’s office will share any needed info with other police departments and the FBI. (Sara Bartlett)
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