Armando Barron sentenced on domestic violence charges 

  • Armando Barron enters Cheshire County Superior Court in Keene Wednesday afternoon for his sentencing hearing. He previously was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Keene resident Jonathan Amerault. HANNAH SCHOREDER/SENTINEL STAFF

  • Cheshire County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Leonard listens Wednesday afternoon as Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Agati speaks during Armando Barron’s sentencing hearing. —HANNAH SCHOREDER/SENTINEL STAFF

  • Public defenders Morgan Taggart-Hampton, from left, and Meredith Lugo approach the bench with Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Agati to speak with Judge Elizabeth Leonard just before she handed down her sentences for Armando Barron’s remaining charges Wednesday afternoon in Cheshire County Superior Court in Keene. —HANNAH SCHOREDER/SENTINEL STAFF

  • Armando Barron speaks with public defender Morgan Taggart-Hampton Wednesday afternoon. HANNAH SCHOREDER/SENTINEL STAFF

Keene Sentinel
Published: 6/30/2022 3:52:48 PM

Editor’s note: This article includes descriptions of violence, including domestic assault.

Armando Barron — who is already serving a life sentence for murdering Keene resident Jonathan Amerault in 2020 — has been sentenced to at least another decade behind bars.

Dressed in bright yellow prison garb with his hands cuffed in front of him, Barron appeared in Cheshire County Superior Court on Wednesday to be sentenced on charges that he assaulted his wife, Britany Barron, the night of Amerault’s murder.

Judge Elizabeth Leonard sentenced him to a total of 10 1/2 to 23 years in state prison on a felony second-degree assault charge and four domestic violence charges, of which two were felonies and two were misdemeanors. He also received a 3 1/2- to 7-year sentence, which was suspended, on a charge of second-degree assault with strangulation.

A jury found the Jaffrey resident, 33, guilty on all charges — including first-degree murder and those domestic-violence and assault charges — after a two-week trial in May. In addition to life in prison, he was sentenced in May to 45 years on charges of kidnapping, two counts of criminal solicitation of murder, two counts of criminal solicitation of first-degree assault, and second-degree assault against Amerault.

Armando Barron’s attorneys earlier this week appealed his conviction to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

Prosecutors said during the trial that on the night of Sept. 19, 2020, Armando Barron flew into a jealous rage upon learning his wife was flirting with Amerault. In hours of testimony, Britany Barron said Armando assaulted her, ordered her to kill Amerault and shot Amerault himself when she refused.

Amerault was missing for days before authorities found his remains at a campsite in a wooded area in northern New Hampshire. Britany Barron said she removed Amerault’s head from his body and concealed his corpse on her husband’s orders. She pleaded guilty last year to three counts of falsifying evidence and is currently on parole.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Agati said at Wednesday’s hearing that Britany Barron “was no less a victim” the night of Amerault’s murder.

“If you don’t recognize that at sentencing, it belittles what occurred to her, or sends a message both to her and other members of the community who may have been or may be subject to violence that in the grand scheme of things what happened didn’t matter,” Agati said. “It does; it does matter.”

Richard Guerriero, a lawyer representing Britany Barron, said she chose not to be in attendance Wednesday to not endure additional trauma. Her hours-long testimony during the murder trial — where she described a horrific chain of events, at times crying so hard she could barely speak — should be considered her victim’s statement, Guerriero said.

Britany Barron said during the trial that Armando grabbed her by the neck, slammed her to the ground and started choking her after he found Snapchat messages between her and Amerault, her coworker at Teleflex Medical in Jaffrey, on Sept. 19, 2020. At some point, he brought her into a bedroom, struck her repeatedly in the face and put a handgun in her mouth, she said.

“You know you’re gonna die tonight, right?” she recalled her husband saying.

Armando Barron then drove the two of them to Annett Wayside Park in Rindge, she said, repeatedly striking her along the way. There, he used her phone to lure Amerault to the park.

Britany Barron testified that when Amerault arrived, Armando Barron beat him and ordered her to shoot him, which she said she refused to do. He then told her to step on Amerault’s neck, which she did until he jerked away, and to cut Amerault’s wrists with a knife, she said.

Then Armando Barron shot Amerault three times while they were in Amerault’s Subaru, Britany Barron said. Berating her by phone the whole way, Armando Barron had her drive north in Amerault’s car, with his body in it, while he followed in their Jeep, she said.

Asked by Agati at the trial why she didn’t drive away while her husband stopped at a store in Errol for supplies, Britany Barron said there were few places to go in that remote locale, and she feared her husband would track her down and kill her.

“I wasn’t going to test him,” she said. “I knew what he had just done, what I had just witnessed, what I had just been through myself. At this point, I was going to do exactly what this man says.”

The public defenders representing Armando Barron during the trial, Morgan Taggart-Hampton and Meredith Lugo, admitted to some of the assault charges against his wife, but denied he shot Amerault, put a gun in his wife’s mouth or ordered her to hurt Amerault.

The defense argued during the trial that Britany Barron, rather than her husband, shot Amerault.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Lugo asked Leonard to make the additional sentences concurrent with, rather than consecutive to, the first-degree murder sentence Armando Barron is already serving.

But the sentence Leonard imposed fell mostly in line with what the state requested. In addition to prison time, the judge ordered Armando Barron to have no contact with Britany other than as required for proceedings in family court.

Leonard said she believes the sentence strikes the proper balance and “recognizes that Britany Barron was a victim in both crimes you committed.”

If you or a loved one is experiencing domestic violence, MCVP: Crisis & Prevention Center’s 24/7 hotline is at 1-888-511-6287. Confidential advocates are also available to help through New Hampshire’s Statewide Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline at 866-644-3574.

Ryan Spencer can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1412, or rspencer@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter at @rspencerKS

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org. 


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