SUNBURY, Pa. (AP) — A newlywed husband convicted along with his wife of killing a man who was lured through a Craigslist ad should be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea because his previous attorneys were ineffective, his lawyer argued.
Attorney Richard Feudale has asked for a hearing in Northumberland County Court claiming that Elytte Barbour, 23, should have pleaded guilty but mentally ill in the stabbing death of Troy LeFerrara, 42, of Port Trevorton.
Feudale argued that a breakdown in communication between Barbour and his previous legal counsel led to the August 2014 guilty plea to second-degree murder and other charges. Barbour claimed he was told that no potential defense was available and he would face the death penalty if he didn't plead guilty.
If Barbour had been aware of a possible mental illness defense and mitigating factors involved with seeking the death penalty, he wouldn't have been afraid to face a death sentence at trial, he argued.
Barbour also wasn't provided with psychiatric or mitigation reports until after he entered his guilty plea, according to the petition.
He and Miranda Barbour, 20, are serving life sentences without possibility of parole. Miranda Barbour admitted she used Craigslist to arrange a meeting with LaFerrara in a parking lot in November 2013.
She drove LaFerrara into Sunbury where she repeatedly stabbed him while her husband, who had been hiding under a blanket on the backseat floor, restrained him with a piece of cable around his neck.