The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Northumberland County

June 1, 2014

Miranda Barbour too sleepy to be interviewed, attorney claims

He wants her confession suppressed

SUNBURY — Defense attorney Ed Greco on Tuesday will resume his fight to ensure that a confession by murder suspect Miranda Barbour will not be used as evidence against her at trial.

Greco, Northumberland County’s chief public defender and Barbour’s counsel, claims the confession is tainted because his client was too sleepy to talk and because she was read her rights, but not provided with the attorney she repeatedly requested during an interview at the Selinsgrove state police station on Dec. 3.

Barbour’s husband, Elytte, 22, who is also charged in the Nov. 11 slaying of Port Trevorton resident Troy LaFerrara, is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday for a hearing to determine if he is competent to stand trial.

Sunbury police have charged the Barbours with the murder of LaFerrara, 42. They allege that Miranda Barbour lured LaFerrara into her car with a Craigslist companionship ad and that she stabbed the victim while her husband, who hid under a blanket in the backseat, tried to stangle him with a cable.

 Miranda Barbour told police LaFerrara began to grope her and put his hands around her neck, so she defended herself by knifing him.

In his attempt to suppress the confession as evidence, Greco claims Miranda Barbour was falling asleep and was not in the frame of mind to be discussing legal issues without an attorney present during her interview with police.

Greco played a portion of the police interview last month during a court appearance, and Barbour could be seen nodding her head and falling asleep while waiting for police.

Greco also provided the court with a copy of a search warrant on the Barbours’ Selinsgrove home that showed police entered the wrong house on the warrant.

The attorney has contended that anything confiscated during the search of the actual home should be thrown out because of the error.

Last week, Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Rosini issued a subpoena to Northumberland County Prison guard Deborah Zaleskie, who previously testified she overheard a Valentine’s Day jailhouse interview Miranda Barbour conducted with The Daily Item.

Zaleskie was sitting at least 10 feet away during the interview, which was conducted by phone through a glass partition.

Zaleski testified that what she heard during the interview made her sick.

Greco is expected to fight the use of the jailhouse interview as evidence.

Elytte Barbour has been relatively silent since proclaiming in an interview with The Daily Item that he was not around during the slaying and then changing his story to police, admitting to being inside the vehicle.

He has talked with police for the past several weeks and when brought to the station in Sunbury, days after his wife’s jailhouse interview, Elytte Barbour spent nearly three hours with his attorney, James Best, of Sunbury, talking to authorities.

Northumberland County Judge Charles Saylor, who ruled last week he would let a jury decide whether Miranda Barbour would face the death penalty, is presiding over the case.

Miranda Barbour will be in court at 9 :15 a.m. and her husband will appear at 1:15 p.m.

n Email comments to fscarcella@dailyitem.com.

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