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The defense and prosecution have rested in the murder trial of a New Hampshire man accused of brutally killing his wife's coworker and violently coercing her assistance.
Armando Barron, 32, stands accused of violently killing Jonathan Amerault in 2020 and making his wife decapitate the victim. Barron’s wife, Britany Barron, took the stand as the state’s star witness, recounting the alleged abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband just before she was allegedly forced to help him kill her coworker and friend.
The defense, on the other hand, rested their case on Wednesday without calling any witnesses to testify, according to ABC Manchester affiliate WMUR-TV — but not before moving to dismiss charges against Armando Barron.
The judge denied the motion, and Armando declined to testify.
Closing arguments began Thursday in the Keene, New Hampshire courtroom, where Armando Barron’s defense maintained that it was actually Britany Barron — and not Armando Barron — who killed 25-year-old Jonathan Amerault.
“Her [Britany’s] claims are like something out of a TV movie, not real life,” said defense attorney Meredith Lugo. “They are sensationalized to make Armando seem like a monster, and her seem like the tragic victim.”
The defense argued that Britany Barron lied on the stand when she claimed her husband put a gun in her mouth and repeatedly punched her after he discovered texts between her and Amerault on Sept. 19, 2020. Britany Barron and Amerault’s relatives maintained the correspondence was merely flirtatious.
The prosecution insisted that any violent action Britany Barron took on the night of the murder was coerced and out of fear.
That night, Armando Barron allegedly used his wife’s phone to lure Amerault to a Rindge, New Hampshire park just north of the Massachusetts state border. Britany Barron admitted to standing on the victim’s neck and cutting his wrists but claimed she did so at Armando Barron’s behest. She alleged that her husband then put a gun in her hand and ordered her to kill Amerault, but she refused.
Attorneys on both sides have argued over who, exactly, fatally shot Amerault twice in the chest and once in the head.
“[Britany] was forced to go there after she was beaten with fists, with a gun, with the defendant’s hands around her mouth and throat,” said Senior Assistant Attorney General Ben Agati in his closing arguments.
Following Amerault’s murder, the married couple traveled 200 miles north — Brittany Barron in Amerault's car with the body, and Armando Barron in his vehicle. They arrived at a campsite in Errol, where Armando Barron allegedly forced his wife to remove Amerault’s head with a saw. He then allegedly left his wife with Amerault’s corpse, instructing her to bury the head separate from the body.
Prosecutors asked Britany Barron why she didn’t escape when she had the chance. She stated, “I wasn’t going to test him” and, “I was gonna do exactly what this man says.”
In their closing arguments, Lugo cried foul.
“The only person Britany ever tried to save here was herself,” said Lugo. “And what she was trying to save herself from wasn’t Armando; it was prison.”
Britany Barron remained at the campsite for the next several days until Fish and Game officers found her with Amerault’s body.
She was charged with falsifying evidence but accepted a plea and was sentenced to time served.
Armando Barron was charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, assault and soliciting murder.
Jurors were sent to deliberate after closing arguments ended on Thursday afternoon.
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