The New Hampshire man accused of forcing his wife to decapitate her co-worker after he murdered him has been convicted on all charges.
Armando Barron, 32, was found guilty as charged for the 2020 murder of Jonathan Amerault, 25, according to the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript. The Cheshire County jury returned the verdict on Thursday less than two hours after the judge sent them to deliberate the defendant’s fate.
Amerault’s mother cried in the Keene, New Hampshire courtroom after the verdict was read aloud, according to CBS News.
Armando Barron stood accused of violently murdering Amerault after discovering messages between his wife, Britany Barron, and Amerault, her co-worker. Many, including Britany Barron and the relatives of Amerault, maintained the correspondence was just harmless flirting.
But on Sept. 19, 2020, Armando Barron allegedly used his wife's phone to lure Amerault to a Rindge park — just north of the Massachusetts border — where he forced his wife by use of violence to cut the Amerault’s wrists and stand on his neck as Armando Barron beat him.
Britany Barron took the stand last week and testified that her husband put a gun in her mouth and repeatedly beat her throughout the evening. She claimed she didn’t pull the trigger when her husband put a gun in her hand and demanded she shoot her co-worker and friend Amerault.
Amerault was shot twice in the chest and once in the head before the Barrons traveled with his car 200 miles north to Errol, where Armando Barron forced his wife to decapitate Amerault and then left her with the corpse at a remote campsite for the next several days.
Throughout the trial, the defense alleged that it was Britany Barron — and not Armando Barron — who fatally shot Amerault, claiming, “the wrong person is on trial.”
“The defendant had all the motive to kill Jonathan, because for him, Jonathan was a man who had just started seeing his wife,” said prosecutor Benjamin Agati in Thursday’s closing arguments. “A man who his wife thought looked like an Abercrombie model, a man who was at her workplace that he now knew was talking to his wife behind his back. The man that he instantly saw as a rival.”
Armando Barron’s defense claimed Britany Barron lied when she took the stand and that her narrative did not support the physical evidence, including the angle of the bullets that entered Amerault’s body, according to CBS News.
“If Britany isn’t being honest with you about that, what else isn’t she telling you?” Defense attorney Meredith Lugo asked the jury.
Lugo claimed that Britany Barron “had a story she was selling,” alleging her previous testimony was a performance to exculpate herself. Lugo also accused Britany Barron of being more than capable of lying, noting that, when Fish and Wildlife officers found Britany Barron with Amerault’s body at the Errol campsite, she said she was “clearing her head” after a falsified account of an argument with girlfriends.
“Her claims are like something out of a TV movie, not real life,” said Lugo. “They are sensationalized to make Armando seem like a monster, and her seem like the tragic victim.”
The jurors disagreed, finding Armando Barron guilty of 13 charges, including first-degree murder, kidnapping and domestic violence.
Prosecutors had previously agreed to drop charges of capital murder against him, according to ABC Manchester affiliate WMUR-TV.
Britany Barron pleaded guilty to three counts of falsifying evidence in September. According to CBS News, she was released from her parole last month.
Armando Barron is expected to be sentenced on at least some of the charges on Friday, according to the Ledger-Transcript. He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.