New Hampshire

Defense Calls No Witnesses in NH Forced Beheading Trial

Prosecutors allege Armando Barron assaulted his wife, Britany Barron, the night he discovered she had been texting with her coworker, Jonathan Amerault, then lured him to a park to kill him and forced his wife to behead him

Keene Police

Prosecutors wrapped up their case and the defense called no witnesses Wednesday in the trial of a man accused of killing his wife's coworker after he discovered they were texting, and then forcing her to behead him.

The judge also denied a defense request to dismiss the case against Armando Barron. His lawyer cited insufficient evidence for the case to go to the jury and conflicting testimony; the prosecution disagreed.



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Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday in the Keene, New Hampshire, courtroom.

Prosecutors allege Barron assaulted his wife, Britany Barron, the night he discovered she had been texting with her coworker, Jonathan Amerault, then used her cellphone to lure him to a park just north of the Massachusetts state line in September 2020. They allege he beat and kicked Amerault, forced him into his own car and shot him three times.

Armando Barron pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, kidnapping and other charges. His lawyers argue that his wife shot Amerault, which she denies.

Britany Barron had testified last week that after Amerault was shot, she was then forced to drive the car 200 miles (322 kilometers) north to a remote campsite. There, she said, she was forced to behead Amerault and dispose of his body.

Testimony on Wednesday focused mostly on cellphone tower records. They showed Amerault's device moving from his home in Keene at about 11:15 p.m. to a park in Rindge the night of Sept. 19, 2020, and then staying put for a little over an hour, intelligence analyst Tracey Flaherty testified.

Eventually, Amerault's phone and Britany Barron's phone were making connections to a tower near the park at the same time, at about 11:40 p.m., Flaherty testified.

She said that Amerault and Britany Barron's phones both started moving from the park at about 12:50 a.m. on Sept. 20, 2020, and eventually connected with a cell tower near the Barrons' home in Jaffrey a few miles away.

At about 1:13 a.m., a text was sent from Britany Barron's phone to Amerault's, saying "Hey, just woke up what did you need," while both devices were still connected to that same tower, Flaherty testified.

Amerault's phone stopped communicating with cell towers at 1:53 a.m. on Sept. 20, Flaherty testified.

Britany Barron's phone, meanwhile, and a cellphone used by another family member in the Barron household were shown moving north starting at about 3:30 a.m. and connecting with the same cell towers, eventually stopping about 200 miles north in Errol at about 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 20.

Records also show that numerous calls were made from the family member's phone to Britany Barron's phone during that time period, Flaherty testified.

When questioned by the defense, Flaherty testified that cellphones are designed to connect to towers that have the best signal, not necessarily to towers that are the closest.

She also said she was not provided with a phone number indicating that it belonged to Armando Barron.

Britany Barron pleaded guilty last year to three counts of falsifying evidence and was released from jail on parole last month.

The Associated Press had not been naming the couple in order not to identify Britany Barron, who said she suffered extreme abuse. Through her lawyer, she recently agreed to the use of her name.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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