The Murder of Jonathan Amerault

On September 19, 2020, Armando Barron kidnapped, tortured, and killed Jonathan Amerault, a man his wife was texting with. Barron then forced his wife to cut off Jonathan’s head postmortem.

Jonathan Amerault

Jonathan Amerault, 25, was born on January 27, 1995, in Rangeley, Maine, where he lived with his parents Kenneth and Justine Amerault. Jonathan was involved with sports in school while in high school and was the captain of the indoor, outdoor, and cross-country track teams. He graduated from Milford High School in 2013. He would earn a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2018.

According to his online obituary, Jonathan enjoyed being outdoors. He spent his free time hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, and using ATVs. Jonathan was an avid mountain climber, climbing 66 out of 67 mountains in his region and 99 out of 100 of the highest peaks in New England.

Background

Britany Barron and Armando Barron married when they were teenagers. They lived at 65 Main Street, New Hampshire, with their three children.

About a week before the murder of Jonathan Amerault, Britany had told her husband she wanted a divorce. He had been abusive towards her, and she no longer loved him. Britany stated when she told Barron he choked her and said, “Are you serious?”  according to court documents, which did not elaborate on this incident.

Barron Britany and Jonathan Amerault worked at Teleflex Medical in New Hampshire. A few days after she told Barron she wanted a divorce, she started exchanging messages with Jonathan. They started talking on Facebook. Their conversation moved to text message and then to Snapchat. She did not want a romantic relationship with Jonathan, but thought he was kind, funny, and sweet; he could be someone she considered dating in the future.

After work one day, they drove to a park spoke about work while sitting in the car. Britany claims she only shared two small kisses with Jonathan before her husband discovered the messages on her phone.   

Britany and Armando

The Murder

On September 19, 2020, Barron went through his wife’s cellphone and discovered that she had been speaking with Johnathan Amerault. After discovering the conversation, he confronted and assaulted Britany in their home. According to police documents, most of the attack took place in the bathroom, where Barron hit Britany multiple times in her face. He forced her out of the bathroom and on to the bed, where he continued to punch her in the face. Barron retrieved a gun and forced it into Britany’s mouth. He then strangled her until she became unconscious. During the attack, Britany sustained multiple injuries to her face, mouth, nose, and chipped a tooth.

In the late hours of September 19th and the early hours of September 20th, Barron used Britany’s phone to lure Johnathan out to meet him and Britany at Annette Wayside Park. Barron forced Britany into the car and drove to Jaffrey, New Hampshire. While driving, Barron continued to beat Britany.

When they arrived at the park, Barron attacked Jonathan. He beat and stomped on Jonathan as he taunted him, asking him if he still thought Britany was pretty. He then forced a gun into Britany’s hand, holding his hand over hers, and ordered her to pull the trigger. Britany would not pull the trigger. Barron took the gun back and told Britany to stop on Johnathan’s throat to kill him. Though Britany placed her foot on his throat, she did not apply pressure to hurt him. Seeing that Britany was refusing to hurt Johnathan, he forced him to get into the backseat. He broke a small piece of the blade off of his machete and told Britany to slice Jonathan’s wrist. Britany made a cut to Jonathan’s wrists.

Britany then got into the driver’s seat of the car and was left alone for a moment with Jonathan. During this time, Jonathan told Britany to use a machete to kill her husband; Britany was too scared to do so and testified she “didn’t want to test him.” Barron got into the passenger seat shortly after and pulled out a gun. Jonathan stated, “wait, I thought you were going to let me live.” Barron replied, “That makes us both liars” and shot him three times; two times in the chest and once in the head. Barron then told Britany to drive back home and pack camping gear. She then drove Johnathan’s car, with his remains in it to Errol; Barron followed behind her in his Jeep. Barron told Britany he would forgive her in the morning.

Gun used, show in trial

When they arrived in Errol, Barron went into a general store and got two tarps, lighter fluid, scrubbing bubbles, and a shovel. They then drove into the woods to make a campsite. Before setting up camp, they attempted to get rid of Jonathan’s belongings. Barron burned the car manual, his credit cards, identification, and a garage opener.

Barron told Britany to cut off Jonathan’s head so that he could not be identified through dental records. Under duress, Britany did as she was told, fearing what Barron may do if she did not. She decapitated him postmortem in the backseat of his car, using a saw and a “smaller blade.” Barron watched Britany, dug a grave, and buried Jonathan’s head.

Barron told Britany to wrap Johnathan’s body up in a tarp and to dig a grave for him. On September 21, 2020, Baron was planning on driving into Keene to send messages from Jonathan’s phone to his friends and family. When he arrived at his house, his mother told him the police were looking for Britany. He drove back to the campsite to get Britany, smashed Jonathan’s phone, and drove to an area where there was cell phone service. Britany was then instructed to send messages saying she was going away for a while to clear her mind. They drove back to the campsite. Armando left the campsite, leaving Britany behind to finish burying Johnathan’s body.

Reported Missing

On September 21, 2020. Justine Amerault reported her son, Johnathan Amerault, 25, missing after not hearing from him for 2 days. Police conducted a welfare check at his apartment at 21 West Diane, Keene, New Hampshire. Police could not find Johnathan or his car.

The police followed up with his job, Teleflex Medical. Johnathan did not show up to work on September 20 and he did not call out. His job also informed police that a woman, Britany Barron, who worked with Jonathan, had called up Teleflex Medical to inform them she would not be showing up for work and that she was quitting. It was believed by their coworkers that Johnathan and Britany may have been in a relationship, even though Britany was married.

After learning this information, police attempted to followed up with Britany, to see if she might know where Johnathan was. When they arrived at Britany’s house, they spoke to her mother-in-law, Marialena Robliedo, who told them her son, Armando Barron, and Britany went for a hike and she was watching their children.

On September 21, 2020, around 10:20 p.m., police returned to Britany and Barron’s house and saw Barron’s Jeep parked in the driveway. They approached the house and spoke to Barron, who told the police he had last seen his wife in the early hours of September 20, 2020, around 2:00 a.m. Barron stated he dropped Britany off on a road near Temple Mountain, so she could go camping with friends. After he dropped his wife off, Barron told the police he didn’t want to go home to his children, so he drove to Errol, New Hampshire and then went home, arriving around 7:00 a.m. The drive Barron stated he made was about 193 miles long and would take about 3 hours and 38 minutes in one direction, according to court documents.

Search for Britany & Jonathan

Following up on Barron’s statements about Britany going camping, police officers spoke with Britany’s friends. Her friends showed the officers text messages from Britany that were from September 20, 2020, between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. In the text messages, Britany told her friends she was going to New Mexico to start over. She stated she would not be seeing her kids, and she was quitting her job. The messages from  Britany also said she was not talking to Johnathon or Barron anymore.

Police now had two missing people, Britany and Johnathan. To locate them, they traced both of their phones. The phone records showed that Jonathan’s and Brittany’s phones were moving together on September 19, 2020, to September 20, 2020, from about 11:40 p.m. to 1:53 a.m. At 1:53 a.m. Johnathan’s phone stopped communicating with cell towers. Britany’s phone stood connected to the cell towers until 3:30 a.m., at which point she travels to the Errol area around 7:30 a.m. On September 21, 2020, Brittany’s phone connected to cell towers in Dixville Notch and Colebrook. It then traveled to the Errol area at 12:05 p.m. until 5:55 p.m.; which is the last time it communicated with the cell towers.

Britany is Found

On September 20, 2020, three hunters happened upon the Subaru and the Jeep. One hunter told the driver (Barron) that he had a bear hunting bait site in the area. The following morning, around 7:30 a.m., the hunters went back to the campsite to see if the cars were still there. Around 10:00 p.m. they went back once more to get the license plate number of the Jeep, but it was gone, and it did not appear that anyone was there.

On September 22, 2022, the hunters went back to the campsite. They honked their horn and a woman (Britany) and a dog came out. The hunters informed her that overnight camping was not allowed on the property and a bear bait was set up nearby. Britany told the hunters she was unaware of this information. The hunters left the area and reported what they saw to the New Hampshire Fish & Game Officials.

New Hampshire Fish & Game Officers found a campsite near Abbot Brook Road in Atkinson and Gilmanton Academy Grant. At the campsite, a Britany Barron and her dog were found. The officers told Brittany that she had to leave the area, as it was not legal to have a campsite there. Britany packed her stud up; as she was walking away from the campsite, she told an officer, “I’m in big trouble.”  

Britany later told the officers she left her dog carrier, so officers went back to grab it. When they arrived back at the campsite, an officer noticed drag marks. They then saw an object that appeared to be a body bound in a tarp. Britany was detained and brought to the Berlin Police Department.

When she was brought to the police station, she told officers what she had experienced. Court documents state that her injuries were consistent with the events she described. Britany had “bruising around both her eyes, burst blood vessels or petechia in the whites of her eyes, marks on her neck consistent with the strangulation attack she told officers about, a bruised nose, and a chipped tooth.”

Britany showed police where Barron told her to throw Jonathan’s phone out the window, which they retrieved. She was then sent to get medical treatment.

Campsite Search

Next to the tent, there was a car covered in a tarp. Under the tarp was Jonathan’s Gray Subaru Impreza. Police then inspected a tarp that appeared to be a body; when examining the tarp, officers noticed blood run out from the tarp into the water. The medical examiner observed the body before it was moved from the scene; they could see that the head was completely removed from the body. The medical examiner believed the decapitation was carried out with a “saw-like” blade. The medical examiner also discovered a puncture wound on the victim’s wrist but could not determine when or how the injury occurred.

Inside Jonathan’s car, police found a large amount of blood in the backseat. They also found blood on the back of the car. According to court documents, “it appeared as though a bloody object had been pulled out the back of the vehicle.”

Police also found a bag of bloody clothing that Britany and Barron were wearing. They located the gun that Barron used to shoot Jonathan with. The gun contained three empty bullet casings. Underneath a red poncho, police found a saw, machete, hacksaw, and a small knife. Some knives had blood on them.

The area where Barron burnt Jonathan’s belongings was also found. His head was also recovered.

Phone Call with Police

On September 22, 2020, around 7:25 p.m., police spoke to Barron. Police asked him to come in to speak with him. Court documents state that Barron became defensive and stated he could not come in for questioning because he had planned to go camping with Errol with his 9-year-old daughter. The officer speaking to Barron offered to meet him half-way in Bristol; Barron declined, stating he did not want his daughter to see him speaking to police officers. He then agreed to speak to officers at the Jaffrey Police station.

Officers soon learned that Barron was driving north and was not heading to the police station. Based on the information provided by Britany and out of concern for the 9-year-old in the accompany of Barron, police issued a BOLO (be on the lookout). Police located his Jeep Patriot around 10:50 p.m. on September 22 in a parking lot in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Barron was not located.

Search of Britany’s & Armando Barron’s Residence

Britany and Armando Barron lived at 63 Main Street, next door to Barron’s parents, who live at 65 Main Street. The two houses are attached and share a kitchen, basement, and attic. Police found the shoes Barron was wearing at the time of Jonathan’s death. They also realized a car was missing from the residence; Scott Reka’s (Armando Barron’s stepfather) 2008 gold Toyota Tundra. While the officer who was making this observation was on the phone with a police sergeant, a vehicle matching the 2008 Toyota drove by.

The sergeant followed and pulled over the vehicle. He observed Barron and his daughter in the car. The sergeant arrested Barron for the assault he carried on his wife, Britany. More charges would be added later.

In the Toyota Tundra police found “sandy soil, 3 bags of quick drying concrete, 2 40-lbs bags of topsoil, a shovel, a large 5-foot metal frame, and a blue tarp with what appeared to be more bags of concrete or topsoil.”

Armando Barron in Home Depto

Arrest

Britany Barron

Britany Barron was arrested and charged with three counts of falsifying, destroying, concealing, or removing anything with a purpose of impairing an investigation.

She made a plea agreement with the prosecutor and was sentenced to serve 3.5 to 7 years in prison.

Britany was released on parole in April 2022.

Armando Barron

Armando Barron was arrested and charged with capital murder, kidnapping, two counts of criminal solicitation of first-degree murder, two counts of Criminal solicitation of first-degree assault, three counts of second-degree assault, three counts of domestic violence, and reckless conduct.

Barron went to trial. Britany would testify against him and told the jury what happened in the hours Jonathan was murdered. The defense did not call any witnesses and argued that it was Britany who killed Jonathan and lied to police about it.

The jury took less than two hours to deliberate. Armando Barron was found guilty on all 13 charges. He was sentenced to life in prison plus an additional 45 years.

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