Defendant's Dna Not On Tested Items In Beheading Case

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Investigators didn't find a DNA profile for the man accused of killing his wife's co-worker on items recovered in the case, including a gun, a hacksaw and a knife, a state criminalist testified Tuesday.

Armando Barron's profile didn't turn up, but testing did find a DNA profile, or a “possible contributor,” for Jonathan Amerault, the man who died, said Katie Lynn Swanko under questioning from Barron’s lawyer in a Keene, New Hampshire courtroom.

Prosecutors allege Barron assaulted his wife, Britany Barron, the night he discovered she was texting with Amerault, then used her cellphone to lure him to a park just north of the Massachusetts state line 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 wrap up its case Wednesday.

Armando Barron has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, kidnapping and other charges. His lawyers argue 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 said, 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 to known profiles of Amerault, Armando Barron and Britany Barron. Amerault's profile came up on nearly all of the items.

“So across all of the items that you tested from this investigation, Armando Barron was not a possible contributor of the DNA to any of those items that you tested?" defense attorney Morgan Taggart-Hampton asked.

“That's correct," Swanko said.

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

The tested items included a pair of blue sneakers. During earlier testimony Tuesday, a criminalist testifying about a zigzag impression left on Amerault's face, saying it could have been made by a blue sneaker that she was given to analyze. Prosecutors said earlier in the trial that Armando Barron owned a pair of blue sneakers.

Also on Tuesday, an investigator testified about messages on social media accounts recovered from Britany Barron’s and Amerault's phones that September night, including one on Britany's asking Amerault to come to a park, followed by one telling him to “turn to the right" and that she was there.

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

Britany pleaded guilty last year to three counts of falsifying evidence and was released from jail on parole last month.

The Associated Press had not been naming the couple in order not to identify Britany Barron, who said she suffered extreme abuse. Through her lawyer, she recently agreed to the use of her name.