Defendant’s DNA not on items tested in beheading case

CONCORD, NH (AP) — Investigators have not found a DNA profile for the man accused of killing his wife’s co-worker on items recovered in the case, including a gun, hacksaw and a knife, a state criminologist said Tuesday.

Armando Barron’s profile did not appear, but tests did find a DNA profile, or a “possible contributor”, for Jonathan Amerault, the man who died, Katie Lynn Swanko said during an interview with the Barron’s lawyer in a courtroom in Keene, New Hampshire.

Prosecutors allege Barron assaulted his wife, Britany Barron, the night he found out she was texting Amerault, then used his cell phone to lure her to a park just north of the border. State of Massachusetts in September 2020. They allege he beat and kicked Amerault, forced him into his own car and shot him three times.

Barron’s trial began last week. The prosecution is expected to conclude its case on Wednesday.

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

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

About a dozen items submitted to Swanko had tested positive for the presence of human blood, but the DNA profile on them was “unknown”, Swanko said. She said comparisons were made with known profiles of Amerault, Armando Barron and Britany Barron. Amerault’s profile appeared on almost every article.

“So through all of the items you tested in this investigation, Armando Barron was not a possible DNA contributor to any of the items you tested?” asked defense attorney Morgan Taggart-Hampton.

“That’s right,” Swanko said.

A few items, such as a black tank top and a sample towel, showed Britany Barron’s profile, Swanko testified.

Items tested included a pair of blue sneakers. In previous testimony on Tuesday, a criminologist testified to a zigzag impression left on Amerault’s face, saying it could have been made by a blue sneaker given to her for analysis. Prosecutors said earlier in the trial that Armando Barron owned a pair of blue sneakers.

Also on Tuesday, an investigator testified to posts on social media accounts retrieved from Britany Barron and Amerault’s phones that September night, including one about Britany asking Amerault to come to a park, followed by another telling her to “turn right” and She was there.

The jury also heard a recording of a conversation a police officer had with Armando Barron at his home a few nights later. Barron is heard saying that he dropped his wife off to go camping and that he thought the officer served him with divorce papers. He also said he drove north.

Britany pleaded guilty last year to three counts of tampering with evidence and was paroled last month.

The Associated Press had not named the couple so as not to identify Britany Barron, who said she suffered extreme abuse. Through her attorney, she recently agreed to the use of her name.

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