A newlywed couple was arrested for allegedly luring a man for "companionship" on Craigslist before stabbing and strangling him to death.
Miranda Barbour, 18, and her new spouse, Elytte Barbour, 22, are accused of arranging a meeting with their victim online, killing him in their car, dumping his body, and then heading to a strip club, reports CNN.
What is the state doing to prosecute the alleged thrill killers?
Couple Wanted to Kill Victim Together
Troy LaFerrara, 42, was the unwitting key to the Barbours living out their alleged killing fantasy, with Elytte telling police that "he and his wife had tried to kill others" but the plans "didn't work out," reports CNN.
The alleged Pennsylvania killers used an ad on Craigslist for "men who wanted companionship" to lure LaFerrara, an area of the online classified often used for prostitution. This is certainly not the first time a killer has made use of Craigslist, with the "Craigslist killings" occurring only one state over in Ohio.
Regardless of the means by which the newlyweds planned the killing, a pre-planned intentional killing is premeditated first degree murder.
In Pennsylvania, most unlawful killings are considered under criminal homicide charges, under which murder and manslaughter are separate classifications. With prosecutors likely to seek a first degree murder conviction against the Barbours, the allegedly lethal newlyweds could face life imprisonment or even the death penalty if found guilty.
Confessions and Privileges
According to CNN, Miranda Barbour confessed after being presented with evidence of she and her husband's alleged crimes, giving police a clearer picture of what had happened that day. The confessions of both Barbours may be key to a guilty verdict for accused married couple, as Sunbury Police Chief Steve Mazzeo told CNN that the police "had nothing" three to four weeks before the couple's arrest.
With much of the newlyweds' cases riding on their confessions, they may argue to the court that the police interrogation leading to the confession was improper.
Both Miranda and Elytte may have the option to choose not to testify at the other's criminal trial as a witness under the spousal privilege. Conversations between the Barbours intended to be confidential may also be barred at trial under a similar evidentiary rule.
- PAL: Newlyweds Sat, Watched Investigators Comb Murder Scene (The Daily Item)
- PlayStation 4 Shooting Leaves 1 Man Dead (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Philip Markoff the "Craigslist Killer"? College Student Charged with Murder of Julissa Brisman (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Glacier Park Murder Suspect to Appear in Court (FindLaw's Blotter)