KEENE, NH (AP) — The attorney for a New Hampshire man accused of killing his wife’s co-worker after discovering they were texting — and then forcing her to behead him — told jurors at the beginning of his trial on Tuesday that his wife is the one to blame for the death.
Armando Barron admitted in court to assaulting his wife and her colleague Jonathan Amerault, but he did not kill him, his attorney Morgan Taggart-Hampton said in opening statements.
“The wrong person is on trial,” Taggart-Hampton said in court in Keene.
Armando Barron, 32, and his wife, Britany Barron, 33, were teenagers when they married and had three children, but their relationship was strained and they wanted a divorce, according to court records.
Prosecutors allege that Armando Barron used her cellphone to lure her colleague, 25-year-old Jonathan Amerault, to a park north of the Massachusetts state line one night in September 2020. There he violently attacked Amerault and tried to force his wife to shoot him, prosecutors allege. She declined. He also forced them to stand on his neck and slit his wrists, they said. Armando Barron eventually forced Amerault into the back seat of the victim’s car, prosecutors said.
“Jonathan pleaded for his life,” a court document said.
Armando Barron allegedly shot Amerault three times in the car, police said. He pleaded not guilty and could face life in prison without parole if convicted.
Britany Barron told police she was then forced to drive Amerault’s car containing his body to a campground in northern New Hampshire for several hours while her husband drove another vehicle. There, Armando Barron allegedly forced his wife to cut off Amerault’s head, bury him, and wrap the body in a tarp. He left her to dispose of the body and returned home, according to court documents.
Prosecutors alleged Barron previously beat and threatened his wife by putting a gun in her mouth. Police said she had bruises around her eyes and nose, stains on her neck and a chipped tooth.
Britany Barron pleaded guilty to three counts of fabricating evidence last year and was paroled from prison last month. She plans to testify against her husband and apologized to Amerault’s family during her sentencing.
The Associated Press did not name the couple to avoid identifying Britany Barron, who said she suffered extreme abuse. Through her lawyer, she recently consented to the use of her name.
During the opening speech, Taggart-Hampton said it was Britany Barron who killed Amerault. She said the evidence presented at the trial contradicted what Britany Barron had said.
“Britany and only Britany stood on Jonathan Amerault’s neck, slit his wrists and eventually shot him multiple times, resulting in his death,” she said.
Britany Barron told police around the time she was arrested that her husband, while searching her phone, discovered she was having an “extramarital affair” with Amerault, according to the affidavit. But lawyers said Tuesday it was a flirtatious relationship, conducted primarily through texts and social media.
“All he did was respond to her text messages for eight days, the last 10 days of his life,” Justine Amerault, Jonathan’s mother, said in an email to the AP. She testified on Tuesday he told her he had met Britany Barron, that she was in an abusive relationship and “she was done”. A good friend of Amerault testified that some of the lyrics were “a little graphic”.
Amerault, an engineer at the biomedical device company in Jaffrey, where Britany Barron also worked, was an avid hiker who had scaled all but one of northern New England’s 67 mountains at least 4,000 feet (1,220 meters) tall.
He had received awards for volunteering at the Souhegan Valley Boys & Girls Club in Milford, New Hampshire, which he had attended in his youth, and later became a camp counselor. A granite bench was dedicated to him at the club.
Amerault oversaw the creation of a “Be Great” mural that hangs over the entrance.
“Throughout his life Jonathan was surrounded by hundreds of the most healing good people…colleagues, friends and family,” his mother wrote, adding, “It is incomprehensible that such a beautiful young man should die in the presence of two such filthy, wicked people.” should creatures.”
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https://www.boston.com/news/crime/2022/05/17/defense-wrong-person-on-trial-in-n-h-death-beheading/ ‘Wrong person on trial’ in NH death, decapitation