Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyers

“Craigslist Killer” Update: Barbour Now Facing the Death Penalty

Back in early April, we wrote a blog post about notorious “Craigslist Killer” Miranda Barbour.  Barbour’s shocking story made headlines across the country, thanks to a laundry list of bizarre details: Satanist cult rituals, a body count supposedly in the twenties, a teenage killer (joined by her young husband and partner in crime), and vocal family members dismissing Barbour’s outrageous confessions as attention-seeking lies. But while doubts have been cast over Barbour’s dramatic claims, the consequences if she is telling the truth have just been increased.  In a recent development, a judge has ruled that prosecutors will be permitted to seek the death penalty.

Judge sitting at table during court hearings on room background

Barbour Claims to Be Serial Killer, But Denies LeFerrara Slaying

As April dawned on the quiet town of Sunbury, Pennsylvania, 19-year-old Miranda Barbour was preparing to face a murder trial alongside 22-year-old husband Elyette Barbour.  She stood before the court claiming to have murdered 22 victims, fueled by her ties to a secretive Satanic cult.  (“…We have never had any contact from this woman, nor her accomplice,” came the response from the Church of Satan.)

Among the 22 unverified killings, the Barbours stood accused of murdering one man in particular: 42-year-old Troy LeFerrara of Port Trevorton, who was discovered dead from multiple stab wounds on November 12, 2013.  LeFerrara first connected with the Barbours via hugely popular web forum Craigslist, but when he met up with the pair in person, they allegedly worked together to stab and strangle him to death.

At the time, the Barbours both pleaded not guilty — though prior to the trial, Miranda was quoted as saying, “I feel it is time to get all of this out.  I don’t care if people believe me.  I just want to get it out.”

pennsylvania murder defense lawyer

Prosecutors to Seek Capital Punishment

Miranda Barbour is being charged with first degree murder.  Because of aggravating factors, the consequences of a conviction go beyond incarceration: she could be facing the death penalty.

Public defender Ed Greco asserts that there simply isn’t enough evidence to prove that aggravating factors — torture and robbery — were present during the murder. Unfortunately for Barbour, Greco seems to stand alone in his beliefs.  In a recent development, Judge Charles H. Saylor denied Greco’s request to circumvent the death penalty, permitting the prosecution to seek the ultimate criminal punishment.  (According to Judge Saylor, Miranda Barbour masterminded a “heinous plan.”)

A written statement from Saylor said, “The evidence tends to show a desire to get from Mr. LaFerrara all of the money on his person that evening.  In connection with the acts of violence, the defendant took his wallet, this is prima facie evidence of a robbery.”

The ultimate outcome of the case is anyone’s guess: the Barbours seem to repeatedly contradict themselves, switching between the roles of self-professed killers and innocent citizens from one interview and court appearance to the next.  Miranda Barbour has stated that she “blacked out” after the November killing — yet in another interview she says, “I remember everything.  It’s like watching a movie.”

Police report Elytte stated the pair — married mere weeks before the LeFerrara murder — “just wanted to murder someone together.”

The capital punishment ruling does not extend to Barbour’s husband Elytte.

Do you think Barbour is guilty?

Murder and robbery are both extremely serious crimes.  If you or someone you love has been charged, call the Bucks County criminal defense attorneys of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania, or contact us online.