Pennsylvania reporter won't have to testify in 'Craigslist killer' case

by Reuters
Friday, 28 March 2014 17:50 GMT

By David DeKok

SUNBURY, Pa., March 28 (Reuters) - A Pennsylvania journalist will not have to testify about his jailhouse interview with so-called Craigslist murder suspect Miranda Barbour, in which she reportedly claimed to be a serial killer.

The subpoena seeking the newspaper reporter's testimony was withdrawn on Friday by Northumberland County District Attorney Anthony Rosini, who said he was able to get the information from another witness.

Barbour, 19, was not present at Friday's hearing in Northumberland County Court of Common Pleas in central Pennsylvania but was expected to appear on April 2 for an evidentiary hearing in the murder case.

She and her husband Elytte Barbour, 21, are charged in the November stabbing and strangulation of a Pennsylvania man they allegedly met via the website Craigslist, police said.

Prosecutors say the couple, who were newlyweds at the time, used the classified ad website to lure Troy LeFerrara, 42, of Port Trevorton, to a meeting in a shopping mall parking lot and soon afterward killed him.

Miranda Barbour is being held at the State Correctional Institution at Muncy, a maximum security women's prison.

In an interview published in Sunbury's The Daily Item in February, she reportedly claimed that she was part of a satanic cult and had committed at least 22 other killings over the last six years in different parts of the country, including Alaska, California, Texas and North Carolina.

Questions have been raised about Barbour's jailhouse claims, given her petite size and a lack of corroborating evidence.

Her father, in an interview also published in The Daily Item, described his daughter as a manipulative liar and said he does not believe she is a serial killer.

Prison policy forbade the reporter, Francis Scarcella, from bringing a pen or notebook to the interview in February, according to the newspaper's publisher Gary Grossman.

The prison taped the interview, but Rosini declined to say on Friday if the existence of a prison recording had anything to do with his decision to withdraw the subpoena for Scarcella's testimony. The subpoena sought only testimony, not notes or confidential sources, Rosini said.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Gunna Dickson)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.