By DAMIEN FISHER, InDepthNH.org
Prosecutors say Britany Barron passed on a chance to save the life of her lover, Jonathan Amerault, moments before her husband, Armando Barron shot and killed him.
Britany Barron 31, of Jaffrey, is asking to be released on bail as she and her husband Armando Barron, 30, are being held on charges related to the murder of Amerault, 25, of Keene. Police say Armando Barron shot Amerault on Sept. 19, 2020, and Britany Barron was then forced to saw off his head.
After Amerault was savagely beaten, and after Armando Barron, 30, tried to get his wife to kill Amerault, there was an opportunity for escape, according to Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Agati’s motion to deny Britany Barron bail.
Alone together in a car, Amerault spotted the machete Armando Barron had left and he pleaded with Britany to use it to free them, the motion states.
“Jonathan pleaded for the defendant to ‘pick up the machete and kill him [referring to Mr. Barron].’ Jonathan told her, ‘Just pick up the machete and kill him.’ Britany told Jonathan, ‘You don’t understand, man. I’m not going to kill him with that blow, and we’re both going to die in this car,’” Agati reports in his motion.
This new revelation comes in the the state’s objection to Britany Barron ’s request to be released from jail. She is charged with the destruction of evidence in the murder. Britany Barron was reportedly forced to saw Amerault’s head off after he was murdered, and then instructed to bury the head and body and burn Amerault’s belongings, according to court records.
While her attorney Richard Guerriero has argued she acted out of fear of her husband and was therefore under duress, Agati writes that is not supported by the facts of the case.
“The facts surrounding Jonathan’s murder, combined with the defendant’s destruction of evidence and desecration of his corpse, demonstrate the significant danger she poses to the general public,” Agati wrote
Armando Barron discovered the relationship between Britany and Amerault by looking at her cell phone, and used her phone to lure Amerault to a state park in Jaffrey on Sept. 19, 2020. There, Armando Barron brandished the gun at Amerault as he pleaded for his life, and then Armando Baron beat him, Britany Barron told police.
“[Mr. Barron] beat the hell out of this kid . . . He punched him. [Jonathan] fell. And then he just started kicking him and kicking him and kicking him . . . In his back. In his – Anywhere. Anywhere. He didn’t care. He was just kicking this guy. He stomped on his face,” she told investigators.
In the following moments, Armando Barron ordered his wife to shoot Amerault, and she refused. Instead, according to Agati’s motion, she stood on Amerault’s neck, putting the full force of her weight down on her lover in an unsuccessful attempt to strangle him. Armando Barron then gave his wife a knife and told her to slit Amerault’s wrists, which Agati reports she did. That failed to kill Amerault and Armando Barron then allegedly assaulted him with the machete, Britany Barron told investigators.
“Throughout the assaults, the attempted strangulation, and the cutting of his wrists, Jonathan never lost consciousness,” Agati wrote. “According to (Britany Barron,) ‘That’s the worst part. Like, he was awake for everything.’”
After Armando Barron shot Amerault three times, Britany Barron told investigators she listened to him moan from the back of his car as she drove it to her house to get camping gear, Agati wrote.
“While loading the camping gear into the car, (Britany Barron) heard Jonathan moaning in the back of his car. According to the defendant, ‘He was just going, ‘Ugh, Ugh, Ugh,’ over and over again,” Agati wrote.
During the packing up and while Amerault was reportedly still alive, according to Agati’s motion, Britany Barron was armed. Armando Barron put the gun he used to kill Amerault in her backpack. By the time she got back into the car, though, the noises stopped, she told investigators.
The couple then drove separate cars four hours north to Errol where they stopped at a general store and Armando Barron bought cleaning supplies, according to Agati’s motion.
“Throughout the drive to Errol, the defendant and Mr. Barron spoke on the phone. The defendant said at one point, Mr. Barron said, ‘Listen, I’m asking you all this now because once sunlight hits, I forgive you. Like, it’s done,’” Agati wrote. “He went on to tell the defendant that he ‘decided to forgive [her]’ and that ‘[e]ven after all this,’ that he was still in love with her.”
The Barrons then went to a remote campsite off of Abbott Brook Road in Atkinson and Gilmanton Academy Grant, where Agati said they started destroying evidence.
“She told investigators that the plan after arriving at the campsite was that Mr. Barron was going to return home, while the defendant would have to stay and destroy all of the remaining evidence, including Jonathan’s body. Mr. Barron would then return on Friday, to ensure the evidence was destroyed,” Agati wrote.
When she was discovered in the woods by Fish and Game conservation officers, Britany Barron had allegedly buried Amerault’s head and body in separate locations, and had covered his car with a tarp. She was also armed with the 9 mm pistol her husband had left with her, according to court records.
She did not immediately tell the conservation officers what had happened, and Agati argues she failed in several instances to stop participating in the crime.
“The defendant had an abundance of reasonable, and lawful alternative steps between Jaffrey and the Atkinson Grant that she could have safely chosen to avoid destroying evidence and desecrating Jonathan’s body,” Agati wrote.
Britany Barron is scheduled for a bail hearing in Coos Superior Court next week.