The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

February 19, 2014

Miranda's dad supports daughter's execution if verdict is guilty

SUNBURY — If Miranda Barbour is convicted in the murder of Troy LaFerrara and sentenced to death, Sonny Dean says he will hold the hand of LaFerrara’s widow as his daughter is executed.

Dean on Wednesday also said he believes his daughter may have been involved in one murder other than her alleged participation in the slaying of LaFerrara, the 42-year-old Port Trevorton resident who was fatally stabbed Nov. 11 in Sunbury.

Sunbury police accuse Barbour, 19, and her husband, Elytte, 22, in the killing.

Dean, speaking to the media for the first time since his daughter was arrested Dec. 3 in connection with the murder, said Miranda was a heroin addict, is the most manipulative person he knows and is a liar.

His daughter is not, he believes, a mass murderer.

In an interview inside Northumberland County Prison on Friday night, Barbour said she killed LaFerrara, and fewer than 100 people, but stopped counting at No. 22.

“I don’t believe her,” said Dean, of Texas. “There is no way.”

It is possible she participated in a killing in Alaska, said Dean, who called The Daily Item on Wednesday morning after the newspaper received his email referencing a blog he created for friends and family.

“The incident with the gun she talked about is possible,” Dean said. “But I can promise you that she has only been to California once and Texas a few times and both times she wasn’t out of my sight.

“The reason I think that the Alaska incident is a possibility is that Miranda ran away from home at least two times that I remember, both for over a 48-hour period,” he said. “Once was around the age of 13 and once was sometime the following year, when she was 14. I don’t know what took place during either of those 48-hour periods.”

In her jailhouse interview, Barbour said she lured a man into an alley in Alaska and watched as the leader of a satanic cult, in which she belonged, shot the man before telling Barbour it was her turn.

“She is good at manipulating people,” her father said. “She is the most manipulative person I have ever known.”

His daughter has spent most of her life in and out of treatment facilities after she became hooked on heroin, Dean said.

“But she was able to talk the doctors into letting her out of treatment,” he said. “We couldn’t stop it from happening and she was out.”

Miranda was raised in a strict household, the father said.

“Once all this stuff with drugs started happening, we locked our house down,” he said. “She wouldn’t have had the chance to do any of these things she said.”

Miranda moved to North Carolina just over two years ago, and lived with her aunt and uncle who also kept a close eye on her whereabouts, Dean said.

“She had her daughter,” Dean said of Miranda’s nearly 2-year-old girl.

“She started college. She just didn’t do these things she said.”

The father of Barbour’s child, also a satanist, was murdered, she said during the jailhouse interview.

“I didn’t kill him,” Barbour said. “But I know all about it.”

Barbour wouldn’t provide details of the alleged murder, but her father said: “Believe very little of what Miranda says. She has a long history of extreme manipulation and dishonesty. I would be very surprised if any evidence was found concerning other victims in the states of Alaska, Texas, California and North Carolina.” All are states in which Barbour said she had killed someone.

Miranda, her father said, is simply a liar.

“Miranda lives in a fantasy world made up in her own mind,” Dean said. “She craves attention, is selfish, dishonest and manipulative,” he said. “I will always love her. However, only God knows what she needs or how to reach through to her. To say the past few months have been challenging and stressful is a gross understatement.”

Dean is shocked his daughter was allegedly involved in LaFerrara’s murder.

“I can honestly say that I had no idea my daughter was capable of this kind of horrendous act,” he said. “Growing up, she struggled with drugs and had behavioral issues, and I can honestly say that I’ve tried everything in my power to get her the help that she needed. Was I the perfect father? Not at all.

“Are there things I would have done differently? Absolutely. We try our best to raise our children. We teach them love and respect. We train them to learn from their failures. We teach them confidence. We educate them, and give them the tools they need to survive on their own. At some point, we set them out on their own and hope and pray that they make wise choices. For me, the most difficult part of this situation has been my daughter’s statements of having no remorse or regrets. She said that if released, she would do this again. For a father who has taught all of his children the importance of integrity, honesty and compassion for others, this hurts me deeply.”

Dean did not dispute Miranda’s claim of being a satanist.

“Satanism is real,” he said. “It is a growing cult that will go to great lengths to seize our children. You don’t have to be affiliated with the ‘Church of Satan’ to worship him.”

Dean said he prays for peace and comfort each morning for the family of LaFerrara, especially Colleen LaFerrara, Troy’s widow.

“If I could trade my life for his, I can honestly say that I would do that for you. Twenty years in the military has taught me to be prepared to sacrifice. As a Christian, I have often struggled with the issue of capital punishment,” he wrote in a prepared statement to the LaFerrara family.

“However, as the reality of it settled in over the past few weeks, I believe God has brought me peace with the fact that capital punishment, if chosen by the jury, is an appropriate end in this situation. In that case, I would stand side by side with you, take your hand, and silently pray that some good may come of this.”

n Email comments to fscarcella@dailyitem.com.

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