By DAMIEN FISHER, InDepthNH.org
The jury for the trial of a Jaffrey man accused of killing his wife’s co-worker and then forcing her to decapitate the corpse is set to be picked in the coming weeks in Cheshire County Superior Court.
Armando Barron, 32, shot and killed Keene’s Jonathan Amerault in September of 2020 after he read text messages his wife, Britany Barron, 33, sent to Amerault, according to court records.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Aagti notified the court he plans to dismiss the capital murder count against Armando Barron, but keep in place the first-degree murder count.
Capital murder allows the defense more challenges in court than first-degree murder, and both carry the life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Britany Barron pleaded guilty last year to destroying evidence and was recently approved for parole. She’s expected to testify against her husband.
Jury selection begins on May 9 and is expected to take four or five days. Once selected, members of the jury will visit sites where some of the alleged crimes took place.
Amerault was an engineer at Teleflex in Jaffrey, a biomedical company, where he worked with Britany Barron. As Britany Barron was seeking to get out of her marriage to the controlling Armando Barron, she started a texting relationship with Jonathan, according to court records.
According to statements Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Aagti made in court, Britany Barron tried to end the marriage a week before the murder, and Armando Barron beat her as a result.
A week later, before the relationship between Britany Barron and Amerault could develop, Armando Barron found the texts and made murderous choices, according to court records. Armando Barron savagely beat his wife and even put a loaded pun in her mouth, according to court records.
After he beat his wife, Armando Barron used her phone to lure Jonathan Amerault to Rindge, according to court records. There, at Annett Wayside Park, Armando Barron beat and tortured Amerault, at times trying to force his wife to hurt or kill Amerault, which she refused.
After the murder, Armando Barron put Amerault into the trunk of Amerault’s car and the couple then drove separate cars four hours north to Errol where they stopped at a general store. Armando Barron bought cleaning supplies, according to court records.
Driving further, they got to the remote campsite where Armando Barron burned Amerault’s I.D. and other documents, and ordered his wife to clean the car, according to court records.
They then drove further into the woods, damaging Amerault’s car in the process. At this second campsite, Armando Barron ordered his wife to cut off Amerault’s head with a saw, and then he left her to hide the body, according to court records.
Some hunters in the Atkinson and Gilmanton Academy Grant campsite had come across Britany Barron and told her she was trespassing and that she was in danger from bears. Her campsite was close to a bear baiting site, according to court records.
The hunters contacted New Hampshire Fish and Game, and two conservation officers went into the woods and found her at the campsite with Amerault’s corpse, head, and car hidden nearby.