The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

June 25, 2014

Miranda Barbour's attorney says knife inadmissible

SUNBURY — Northumberland County’s chief public defender submitted a brief on Tuesday in order to argue that a nearly 4-inch-long, nonserrated knife with an upwardly curved blade, found hidden in the attic of a home in Selinsgrove, is inadmissible as evidence in the fatal stabbing case of Troy LaFerrara.

That’s because Sunbury police, who had three days to prepare a warrant, searched a home whose address was different from that on a warrant signed by a Snyder County judge, defense attorney Ed Greco said during an evidence suppression hearing held earlier this month.

Greco, who is representing accused murderer Miranda Barbour, 19, of Selinsgrove, submitted his brief on Tuesday to Northumberland County Judge Charles Saylor, who is presiding over the case.

Greco’s brief does not have to be filed with the county prothonotary’s office.

Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Rosini argued there was sufficient cause to sustain the evidence despite the conflicting addresses and will submit his brief on or before July 9.

Greco questioned two Sunbury police officers and Valerie Spring, a woman who was leasing the house where Mrs. Barbour and her husband, Elytte Barbour, were living after discovering the address of the home on the search warrant was not where the Barbours were staying.

Under intense questioning by Greco, police admitted they included the wrong address on the search warrant issued Dec. 9, three days after Mr. Barbour allegedly admitted to the whereabouts of the blade and his role in the Nov. 11 slaying of the 42-year-old Port Trevorton man.

Police allege the Barbours killed LaFerrara because they wanted to kill someone, anyone, together.

Police admitted the mistake with the address in the search warrant but said they knew the Barbours’ address because they had been there several times before.

The Dec. 9 search warrant was issued for 101 N. Market St., Selinsgrove, but police served the warrant on Valerie Spring, at 101 N. Water St.

Police entered 101 N. Water St. after receiving information from Mr. Barbour on Dec. 6 that the knife used in the slaying was in the attic, behind insulation. That’s where police claimed to have found the knife.

Mrs. Barbour told police Dec. 3 she had thrown the blade in the Susquehanna River after killing LaFerrara in self-defense, according to court documents, and she has yet to admit to police what her husband claims.

Police found a nearly 4-inch long, nonserrated knife with an upwardly curved blade at 101 N. Water St.

Rosini said Spring’s testimony proved the Barbours lived at 101 N. Water St., where the search warrant was used.

Saylor will make a ruling within 30 days of Rosini’s July 9 submission and also is expected to make a ruling on Greco’s motion to toss Mrs. Barbour’s alleged confession to Selinsgrove state police because she asked for an attorney at least seven times during a police interview.

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