By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item
SUNBURY — A former North Carolina couple charged in the slaying of a Port Trevorton resident will face preliminary arraignments within four hours of each other at a county venue large enough and secure enough to accommodate a possible crush of reporters and members of the public.
Elytte Barbour, 22, and his wife, Miranda, 18, are charged in the Nov. 11 strangulation and stabbing death of Troy LaFerrara. They were arrested within days of each other last week, and court documents state they killed the married engineer on the day of their threeweek wedding anniversary only because they wanted to murder someone together.
Miranda Barbour will appear before District Judge Ben Apfelbaum at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 20 in Courtroom 1 of the Northumberland County Courthouse, while Elytte Barbour will appear at 1:30 p.m., Apfelbaum confirmed Thursday.
Suspects usually appear before Apfelbaum at City Hall, but because of the national and international attention the case has generated, officials wanted to hold the hearing inside the more secure and spacious Northumberland County Courthouse.
Northumberland County public defender Ed Greco will represent Miranda Barbour; Sunbury attorney James Best will represent Elytte Barbour.
Members of the LaFerrara's family have said they will be in attendance for the Barbours’ court appearances.
Sunbury police Chief Steve Mazzeo said he and the Northumberland County Sheriff’s Department will increase security.
“We are working together to get a viable plan together,” Mazzeo said. “We expect there may be several people attending and we want to make sure we have a plan in place.”
Apfelbaum’s courtroom in January will be moved to the Northumberland County Administration Center because City Hall lacks metal detectors.
Miranda Barbour was scheduled to appear for a preliminary arraignment on Tuesday, but that date was changed to Dec. 20.
Apfelbaum wouldn’t say why the site of Miranda Barbour’s proceedings changed, but agreed that media attention is expected to be high and his City Hall courtroom may not be able to handle the overflow.
Miranda Barbour is being held at Northumberland County Prison and Elytte Barbour, at Columbia County Prison. Both have been remanded without bail.