Jaffrey woman seeks bail in evidence tampering case connected to September murder 

  • Britany Barron Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/26/2021 2:28:50 PM

A Jaffrey woman charged with aiding her husband in the alleged murder of a Keene man last fall has requested to be released on bail, arguing she was coerced to help cover up the crime.

Britany Barron, 31, of Jaffrey is charged with several counts of evidence tampering in the September murder of Jonathan Amerault of Keene. Her representation has asked that the court review a request for her release on bail during her next dispositional hearing, scheduled via web conference at the Coos Superior Court on Feb. 1.

Barron confessed to police that her husband, Armando Barron of Jaffrey, had found text messages between her and Amerault showing evidence that they were having an affair and used Barron’s phone to lure him to an isolated spot in Annett State Park in Rindge. He allegedly first attempted to coerce Barron into killing Amerault in several different ways, which she refused. Armando Barron allegedly assaulted Amerault before shooting him dead. He then allegedly coerced Barron to contribute to the cover-up by transporting Amerault’s body to a campsite in Coos County, and removing his head to make identifying his body more difficult.

Armando Barron has also been charged with domestic violence for allegedly viciously attacking his wife upon discoveBARRON from Page ry of the text messages, including beating her and forcing a gun into her mouth, and attacking her again in the vehicle while driving to Annett State Park to lure Amerault.

Since the discovery of the crime, Barron has been held in pretrial detention at the Grafton County House of Corrections. Her lawyer is now seeking to have her released on supervised electronic monitoring with home confinement at a court-approved residence.

“Britany is not a danger to herself or the community. Britany is a victim of domestic violence, having been severely beaten, choked, and threatened with death by Armando Barron,” Barron’s lawyer, Richard Guerriero wrote in a motion requesting Barron’s release on bail, filed with the Coos Superior Court on Sunday night. “The discovery produced over the last five months confirms that Armando Barron murdered Jonathon Amerault, then compelled Britany to assist in trying to cover up the murder. There is no evidence, and certainly not proof by clear and convincing evidence that Ms. Barron is a danger to herself or others.”

According to the bail request, Barron married her husband at the age of 18, and the marriage was abusive. Guerriero alleged that Armando Barron had been unfaithful to Britany Barron in the past, and had beat her when she told him she did not love him anymore.

Guerriero argued that since her discovery at the campsite with Amerault’s body, Barron was “briefly evasive, but then soon told her entire story,” and had given police “critically important evidence” of the crime and had since cooperated fully with law enforcement.

“Having been beaten badly, threatened with her own murder, and knowing that Armando remained a threat to her, Britany did as Armando told her to do,” Guerriero said.

Medical records and photographs taken immediately after her arrest show that Barron had multiple injuries to her face, including swelling to her face, a burst blood vessel in her eye, a fractured nose, a cut to her head, chipped teeth, and bruises on her neck, chest and arms.

Since her incarceration, Guerriero argued, there have been no disciplinary issues at the Grafton County House of Corrections, and Barron has made efforts to maintain contact with her three children through video visits.

Prior to Amerault’s murder, Guerriero said, Barron had no criminal record.

“Britany has never failed to appear for any court date. She has never run from police. She has never tried to escape custody. She has never disobeyed any court order.” Guerriero wrote. “Britany has never been accused of violence against anyone.”

Guerriero argued that investigation in the case has supported the statements given by Barron to police, and that in the five months since the initiation of the investigation, Barron has not been charged with additional crimes. He argued that the charges of evidence tampering that Barron is charged with would, if she were convicted, likely result in a sentence to the House of Corrections of a year or less, and that the five months she has been detained are a significant portion of that sentencing.

Barron requests to live at a residence in Grafton County approved by the court for those on monitored release, and submit to whatever supervision the court deems appropriate, including regular inspection or court visits.

Barron is scheduled to appear before the court on Feb. 1 via web conference for a dispositional conference. Barron’s representation has requested the court grant her bail during that conference, or as soon as possible.

 

(Editor’s Note: The Ledger-Transcript did not initially name Britany Barron because of the domestic assault that state prosecutors said she endured. However, as the criminal charges against her proceed in court, the public interest in this case outweighs the newspaper's typical policy to shield the identity of victims of domestic violence.)




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