HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The newlyweds charged with fatally stabbing a stranger they lured with an ad on Craigslist are being represented by different court-appointed lawyers and are scheduled to have separate preliminary hearings this week.
Elytte Barbour, 22, and his wife, Miranda, 18, of Selinsgrove in central Pennsylvania, are being held without bail in different counties, charged with criminal homicide and other offenses in the apparently random killing of 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara in Sunbury on Nov. 11.
Miranda Barbour is expected to plead not guilty, said her lawyer, Edward Greco, the Northumberland County chief public defender. Elytte Barbour is being represented by a different court-appointed lawyer, who didn't return several phone messages seeking comment.
Both hearings are slated for Friday at the Northumberland County Courthouse, hers in the morning and his in the afternoon.
The couple, who recently moved to Pennsylvania and got married in North Carolina three weeks before the slaying, stabbed LaFerrara 20 times and dumped his body in an alley simply because they wanted to kill someone together, Elytte Barbour told investigators, according to police affidavits.
His wife told police that she met the victim after he responded to her Craigslist ad offering companionship for money and that they traveled in her vehicle from Selinsgrove to Sunbury, a small city about 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
Elytte Barbour told police he was hiding under a blanket in the back seat when his wife picked up LaFerrara and drove to Sunbury, where they parked. At a prearranged signal, he said, he came out of hiding and pulled a cable cord tight around LaFerrara's neck while his wife stabbed him.
LaFerrara, a resident of nearby Port Trevorton, was gasping for air as she drove around looking for a spot to dump the body, investigators said Miranda Barbour told them. She took his wallet afterward and acknowledged throwing the knife into the Susquehanna River several days later, investigators said.
Although police affidavits now indicate both defendants admit participating in the slaying, only Miranda Barbour was charged at first, saying she stabbed LaFerrara after police discovered the last call received by his cellphone was made from her number.
Elytte Barbour, in an interview with The Daily Item newspaper in Sunbury, defended his wife, calling her an entrepreneur who hired herself out through website ads to provide "delightful conversation" — never sex, he insisted — with lonely men who paid her as much as $850. He maintained that she stabbed LaFerrara in self-defense.
Three days after his wife was charged, he was, too.