SUNBURY, Penn. — Accused thrill killers Miranda and Elytte Barbour entered guilty pleas Tuesday in the alleged thrill-killing of a man in Northumberland County last year.
The so-called “Craigslist killers” pleaded guilty to second degree murder and other charges in Northumberland County court in Sunbury.
They’re accused of killing Troy LaFerrara of Port Trevorton last November.
Northumberland County District Attorney Ann Targonski says the plea has been in the works for several weeks.
“It spares the family the agony of a trial, the long, drawn out appeals in this matter and allows for some resolution on their part.”
Both Barbours faced the death penalty, had they been found guilty. As part of the plea agreement, they both agreed to plead guilty to second degree murder, aggravated assault, robbery, and possession of an instrument of crime in exchange for a sentence of life in prison.
The victim’s body was found in Sunbury. People who live in that neighborhood are relieved the case has been resolved.
“If they would’ve got the death penalty, they probably would’ve spent the rest of their lives in jail. Either way, it’s probably going to be the same outcome,” said Sunbury resident Mike Folk.
“We don’t have to keep seeing their court dates, all that, all their hearings and stuff like that. It puts us at ease,” added Brittany Stettler.
The D.A. says not having a trial will save Northumberland County taxpayers a lot of money.
“I would be purely speculating, but I could see it easily being a million dollars,” Targonski said.
“Actually already having said they did it, it would be kind of crazy for them to go any other which way now,” said Blaine Shaffer of Sunbury.
Sentencing is set for next month.
Miranda Barbour, formerly of Dunn, N.C., told a newspaper reporter earlier this year that she killed at least 20 more people in different parts of the country. The Northumberland County district attorney said the FBI is investigating those claims.
Police said the Barbours met LaFerrara through the website Craigslist, and killed him on November 11, 2013 because they wanted to murder someone together.
Miranda Barbour initially said she stabbed LaFerrara in self-defense, but police said Elyette Barbour gave them a full confession. He told investigators he was hiding under a blanket in the back seat of the couple’s car. When the signal was given, he choked LaFerrara with a cord while his wife stabbed him repeatedly.