Raw video: Armando Barron’s defense lawyer tells jury, ‘You must find him not guilty’
Good morning. one thing we can all agree on Jonathan Emerald died *** brutal, horrific and senseless death, but that’s not what you’re here to decide on that fact. Everyone in this courtroom can agree instead, what you’re here to decide is whether the state has proven to you beyond *** reasonable doubt that Armando Barone kidnapped Jonathan Emerald and caused his death. Whether the state has proven to you beyond *** reasonable doubt that he solicited Brittany Barone to assault and kill MR Emerald tried to kill Mr Emerald before ultimately shooting him himself. Mhm Armando Barone did not commit those acts and the state has not proven to you beyond *** reasonable doubt that he did to believe that the state has proven his guilt beyond *** reasonable doubt requires you to accept Brittany’s testimony as fact. Yet there are multiple reasons to doubt that testimony. The three primary reasons to doubt her testimony. One her claims are contradicted in very fundamental ways by the physical evidence you’ve heard about two. Her testimony simply isn’t believable. It is full of sensationalized details to make Armando look like *** monster and herself look like *** tragic victim and three her motive to lie, to save herself from facing the consequences of her own actions. Her motive to lie, to save herself from going to prison for *** lengthy sentence. Let’s talk about the first reason to doubt Brittany’s claims and that is better testimony is not only not supported by the physical evidence. It is contradicted by it. The primary example of this is that fatal gunshot wound wound f that you heard about from Dr Duval the medical examiner, remember what Dr Duval told you wound F was the higher of the two gunshot wounds. To Mr Amaral ted the one from which the bullet was recovered at the top of his skull, the fatal gunshot wound, the only gunshot wound he suffered that would have led rapidly to death the wound that Dr Duval told you likely rendered him immediately unconscious and incapable of meaningful movement. Most importantly, the only wound that dr Duval was able to conclude was inflicted at close range which she told you was *** distance from *** fraction of an inch to *** few inches six at most between the end of the gun’s muzzle and Mr Emeralds head. Dr Duval told you that she knew that wound was inflicted at close range because she observed, put in and around the wound and gunpowder particles in the wound path. It was the only gunshot wound Mr Emerald suffered that had these characteristics. Why are those observations and the fact that this was *** wound inflicted at close range so crucial because they tell you that this wound could not have been inflicted. The way Brittany said it was her testimony was that Armando forced Mr Amaral to get into the rear of his vehicle with his feet towards the seats and his head toward the back of the hatchback. Her testimony was that Armando was sitting in the front passenger seat that she was in the driver’s seat. That Armando turned around and from the front passenger seat fired three shots in quick succession. But you know from Dr Duval that that’s not what happened. That that positioning you heard from Dr Duval could not have produced that fatal close range gunshot wound. F if Brittany isn’t being honest with you about that, what else isn’t she telling you and why? What other physical evidence contradicts Brittany’s claims. Let’s stick with Dr Duvall for the moment and what she told you about the sum total of Mr Emeralds injuries recall that she testified about at least two other gunshot wounds as well as the incised wounds to each wrist and the multiple blunt impact injuries to his head and neck. All of those injuries you heard from her had significant bleeding associated with them, which means all were inflicted not only prior to Mr Emeralds death, but at *** time when he had *** relatively normal blood pressure, meaning the dying process wasn’t yet underway, meaning all were sustained before he had suffered from gunshot wound. F that fatal wound, Dr Duval testified that, given her observations, his other wounds could have occurred as much as *** few hours before that fatal wound. That timing is also supported by her observations during her histological exam and no one is claiming that that exam is equivalent to *** stopwatch. But Dr Duval testified that one of the reasons she examines the tissues under *** microscope is to help determine whether injuries were inflicted prior to or after death? The microscopic excuse me, microscopic examination does that by revealing whether inflammatory cells are present in those tissues. And if so. What types Dr Duval’s testimony was that she observed mixed inflammatory cells, both the acute ones that are generated first and the chronic ones that come next in the tissues of the injuries to Mr Emeralds, Scout forehead and face the injuries. Armando Barone admitted from the beginning of this trial that he caused those mixed inflammatory cells in the underlying tissues of those injuries, suggest that those were the first injuries sustained and that they were potentially sustained up to *** few hours before that fatal gunshot wound. But what Brittany described you on the witness stand wasn’t an hours long event. So what isn’t she telling you and why? And isn’t that reasonable doubt another piece of physical evidence that doesn’t support Brittany’s claims or what the state has told you the location in an at state park where Jonathan emeralds blood was found in front of that curved tree. You all had *** chance to observe on the view. What the state told you in its preview statement was that Armando Barone watched Mr Amaral pull into the park From *** vantage 0.20 ft past that curved tree. What Brittany claimed during her testimony was that the jeep patriot had pulled into an area of the woods that she described as *** clearing and turned around are either of those descriptions consistent with your observations and experience from being at that park. Do you really think *** vehicle especially one as large as *** jeep Patriot could have backed that far into the woods when it was pitch black out or turned around once in those woods. Yet Britney describes the initial assault of Mr Emerald as happening right by the cars, so how to account for where his blood was found? How did he get to that spot in the woods? And why? What really happened at an it’s state park? And if Brittany is lying about these things, what else is she lying about? And remember all of this physical evidence contradicts Brittany’s claims. Despite what you heard about the major crimes unit and the state police forensic lab and how they work hand in hand trooper else Miller told you the major crimes unit searches and collects evidence to assist the prosecution. The state police and the Attorney General’s office had major case meetings with the state lab to decide based on Brittany’s claims, what items of evidence to test and what items of evidence not to test Rachel Martinez, the major case coordinator for this case. Who attended those meetings, I told you in her testimony that the lab advises the State police and the Attorney General’s Office. What testing to do to prove what they’re trying to prove yet the physical evidence does the opposite here. Far from proving Brittany’s claims are true. It contradicts them. Excuse me. The second reason to doubt Brittany her claims are like something out of *** tv movie, not real life. They’re sensationalized to make Armando seem like *** monster and her seem like *** tragic victim. Think about some of her claims that when they were leaving the house Armando told her to leave quietly or the girls would see something gruesome that Armando was making comments about the gun being called the judge and the name being ironic that Armando asked Mr Emerald when he arrived at the park whether he still thought Brittany was pretty and when Mr Amaral said yes Armando agreed that she was quote beautiful. Do these sound like things you’d be likely to hear in real life or lines from *** movie or *** Tv show? And how does Brittany described herself to you as someone who wasn’t willing to kill anyone? She claims that she was not only unwilling to kill Mr Emerald, she was also unwilling to kill Armando even though she says he not only punched her repeatedly, he also choked her multiple times. According to her to the point of unconsciousness, put *** gun in her mouth made her do horrendous things to Mr Amaral *** person, she claims she cared about and told her he was going to kill her according to the state in its opening, she knew he was going to kill her even in the face of all of that, she claims and wants you to believe that she was willing to die herself before she would kill him. Nor she claims was she willing to kill Mr Amaral? She says she refused to shoot him when Armando put the gun in her hand and claims that even though she then followed the directions, she says Armando gave her she wasn’t really trying to hurt Mr Amaral what she told you was that Yes, she stood on his throat but when he moved she was easily knocked off. She also says that yes, she cut his wrists again, she claims because Armando made her, but according to the State, she wasn’t really trying to hurt Mr Amaral when she did that yet again though the physical evidence shows you that the way Brittany describes her actions is very different from the reality of those actions. Dr Duval told you it was forceful pressure to the left side of Mr Emeralds neck that resulted in hemorrhage to that SCM muscle, the large muscle that runs up the side of the neck. Forceful pressure that caused *** partial breakage of his hyoid bone and his thyroid cartilage. Forceful pressure and referred to strangulation as an example of the type of pressure she was talking about. You looked at pictures of the cuts to Mr Emeralds wrists, one to each wrist, horizontal, on the left wrist, vertical, on the right. You heard from Dr Duval and you’ve seen for yourselves in those pictures that these were deep cuts down to the boat based on the state’s questioning of Dr Duval. It seems like they may try to claim that Brittany only caused the cut to Mr Emeralds right breast and on his left arm only caused those two long superficial scratches you saw running between his elbow and his wrist. But Brittany herself looked at the photographs of those deep cuts to both wrists and admitted to you that she was responsible for those that she did. Those any claim that she didn’t is wholly inconsistent with the evidence, not just her admitting to causing both of those deep incised wounds but also because you heard no testimony about anyone other than Brittany cutting Mr Emerald with *** knife nor should you let her or the state tell you that Armando made her do these things. Because compare what she admits she did to the things that she says Armando also told her to do that she refused to do not just killing Mr Amaral but also damaging his car. Remember that she told you that it was Armando who ended up driving the Subaru over the culvert they had filled in because she didn’t want to break Mr Emeralds car didn’t want to break his car. That’s where she draws the line but she was willing to decapitate him. The state asked some of you during jury selection whether you could understand that sometimes people might do things that seem unthinkable to save others. The only person Brittany ever tried to save here was herself and what she was trying to save herself from wasn’t Armando, it was prison. Which brings us to the 3rd reason to doubt Brittany’s claims. Look at the powerful motive she has to lie. You heard she was caught red handed up north by the Fish and Game officers. When they got there at that very moment Brittany had just finished dragging Mr Emeralds body into the creek, puncturing the tarp. She had wrapped around him to let the air out of the chart to try to get the body to sink after she had first tried to dig *** hole big enough to bury the body in but couldn’t she was wet, she was muddy and when she heard her dog barking she ran out of that path leading to the creek. The path that led right to Mr Emeralds body. And where were the officers from? Fish and Game? They were waiting for her, kneeling down, looking at her tent, which you heard was right in front of Mr Emeralds car still only partially hidden given those circumstances, Brittany certainly couldn’t claim that she had no involvement in what happened at least not if she wanted to be believed. So what does she do? She makes up *** story. She blames her husband Armando not only for killing Mr Amaral but also for she claims making her do everything she did to him, not just causing injury to the muscle cartilage and bone in his neck but also cutting his wrists removing objects from his car and wiping it down piling rocks on the burn pile. Used to burn those items to make it harder to find concealing his car with the tarp and branches. And of course decapitating Mr Emerald using not just *** knife but also *** saw to cut through his neck including through his spinal cord and both. And as she told you positioning the body while she did so so that his head would fall to the ground when she was done. And what is the punishment that she received for these acts of concealment and destruction which remember were the only acts she was charged with. She wasn’t charged with assaulting Mr Emerald. She wasn’t charged with killing him. She was charged with three counts of falsification of physical evidence under the terms of her sentence And her agreement with the Attorney General’s Office Brittany was incarcerated for less than two years and today is free to live her life as she chooses in the community. Yes she’s on parole and yes she has *** suspended sentence. But she told you as long as she doesn’t commit new crimes, she doesn’t return to prison is less than two years behind bars an appropriate sentence for falsifying physical evidence by cleaning Mr Emeralds Subaru is less than two years behind bars an appropriate sentence for falsifying. Think about the ways she told you that she falsified physical evidence, wrapping Jonathan emeralds body in *** tarp and dragging it into the woods, removing Jonathan emeralds head. Now the state may try to emphasize that Brittany’s plea agreement requires her to testify truthfully. But you, the jury get to decide what the truth is at this trial. Not me, not Brittany and not the Attorney General’s Office. All of you decide what the truth is the fact that Brittany signed that plea agreement. That doesn’t mean that you have to accept what she says as the truth. The fact that she came into this courtroom and testified. That doesn’t mean that you have to accept what she says as the truth. The fact that she was emotional and she cried on the witness stand. That doesn’t mean that you have to accept what she says as the truth. Because if that’s all it took why would we have trials at all? Not only do you not have to accept Brittany’s testimony as true? Judge Leonard will instruct you that you were. That you are to weigh her credibility the same as you would anyone else’s. That some of the factors you may want to consider include whether she seemed worthy of belief. Whether she had an interest in the outcome. Whether her testimony was reasonable or probable and whether she had any reason for not telling the truth, Brittany doesn’t just have any reason not to tell the truth. She has the strongest reason *** person can have avoiding the consequences of her own actions, avoiding spending *** longer period of time in prison separated from her daughters avoiding being seen as *** murderer and instead making sure she’s seen as *** victim now in *** criminal trial. The State and only the state has the burden of proof. You heard that at the beginning of this trial you’ll hear it in the instructions that follow the closing arguments and I’ll talk more about that in *** moment. But right now I will tell you that part of what that means is that just as they got to go first in this trial they get to go last. I won’t get another chance to get up here and speak to you all after the State gives its closing argument. So I have to try to anticipate what they might say to try to convince you to believe Brittany and to convict Armando Barone on the basis of her testimony. The state might say, well what’s Britney’s motive to kill Jonathan? Amaral, first of all, it’s not our burden to prove to you that she did kill him. It’s the state’s burden to prove to you that Armando did. But think about all you’ve heard during this trial and what her motive could be. Perhaps Brittany killed Mr Amaral because she didn’t want him to contact the police about Armando assaulting him because she didn’t want Armando to go to prison. After all she and Armando have been together since they were teenagers and she told you about not wanting her daughters to lose their father. Or maybe it’s the opposite. She wanted him to be punished for assaulting her. And what better way of guaranteeing he receives *** substantial punishment than accusing him of murder. Or maybe Mr Emerald was understandably upset that Brittany’s divorce clearly wasn’t as far along as she led him to believe and she got angry and killed him. Or maybe it’s something else that I haven’t thought of. But you have any one of those possibilities is reasonable doubt the state may say well Brittany was trapped, she believed Armando was going to kill her and it was impossible for her to get help. Think about that. Was it impossible. Think about all the times that she and Armando, we’re not together on the drive home from an at state park to their house just down the street from the Jaffrey Police Department. When Armando went to the gas station before they left Jaffrey, any time during that long drive from Jeffrey to Errol when she drove past multiple cell towers early sunday morning when she was at the boat launch and Armando was at l l Cody. Any of the other times you heard about when Armando was inside l L Cody or inside the I. G *** grocery store. You watched some of the camera footage from those stores. You saw Armando inside those doors. Now Brittany you saw the length of time he was inside and the number of cars and drivers in the parking lots that Britney could have sought help from Or how about when she was on the phone talking to the human resources person at teleflex or texting her coworkers, lying to all of them by claiming she didn’t know where john was or even that he was missing. You heard the state asked her on direct why she didn’t try to leave. Ask yourselves whether the reasons she gave. I didn’t think of it. I didn’t have *** map. I didn’t know where I was going. Makes sense. Especially when she had two loaded guns with her at the campsite. Especially since the hunters. Those two gentlemen you heard from last week brian James and Elmer long came to the campsite twice in their own vehicle after Armando was gone, Brittany didn’t need to know where she was or where to go. She didn’t need *** map. She didn’t even need to have cell service. She just needed to ask mr James or mr long for help. Same thing with the fish and game officers who showed up there on Tuesday afternoon but she had an answer for that, didn’t she remember I was *** brown girl with *** dead body. I knew how it looked and implied she was afraid that the fish and game officers would shoot her. The officers who by her own account were calm polite, worried about her and expressed concern for her safety. That’s how she described that yet. She in the state wants you to believe that she was somehow in danger from those officers or believed that she was and that’s why lying to them makes more sense than what someone in this situation she claims she was in would actually do tell them what your husband had done and thank them for rescuing you. The State may say if this is *** lie why would Brittany admit to anything at all? Why wouldn’t she try to make everything sound worse for Armando and better for her? Well Brittany inadvertently already answered that as she herself told you she believed forensic evidence would tell the story of what happened no matter what she said remember it’s not Armando it’s Brittany who was caught with Mr Emeralds decapitated body, his vehicle and his burned possessions and despite her claims she didn’t and couldn’t know for sure what the physical evidence would reveal. So she admitted some of her actions injuring Mr Emerald concealing evidence while also pointing the finger at Armando as the true cause of those actions. Is that really an admission? Is it *** taking of responsibility or *** shirking of it or the State may say this is too elaborate and detailed of *** lie for anyone to come up with. But you know again from Brittany herself that she’s very capable of lying when she wants to think about the lie, she admitted telling those fish and game officers. Not just that she was up there clearing her head, not just that she had had *** fight with *** girlfriend, but also that this fight had happened at *** party where they had both been drinking and because she had criticized her friends mothering skills, that’s detail right there or the state may not say any of these things, Maybe they’ll just focus on Brittany cooperating with the police once she’d been detained by Fish and Game and brought to the Berlin Police Department, but of course she cooperated at that point she had *** story she was selling and she needed them to believe it or the state might focus on trying to shift your attention away from Brittany onto Armando, they might emphasize that he lied to the police about dropping Brittany off early on sunday morning and or telling Sergeant Sloper he would come in to be interviewed. But Attorney Taggart Hampton told you at the very beginning of this case, Armando had assaulted Brittany as well as mr Amaral on saturday night. The state may try to excuse me might try to get you to focus on the contents of the Toyota truck when Armando was stopped on Tuesday september 22nd and ask you to speculate about why he had soil and concrete, but you heard an explanation for that. Remember trooper Hester’s testimony on Tuesday she was the officer who testified about the celebrate extractions of the cell phones. Attorney Taggart Hampton asked her on cross examination about her observations of 63 65 Main Street in Jaffrey in September 2020. When she interviewed Scott Rica’s and Trooper Hester told you at that time she observed that the driveway to the house was dug up and *** construction project was underway or they might try to argue that the physical evidence does point to Armando by focusing on his fingerprints on the spoiler of the Subaru or the footwear impressions on Mr Amaral ted what if anything do the prince on the spoiler proof? I anticipate that the state may try to argue that Armando’s prints on the spoiler proved that he closed the hatch back after forcing Mr Amaral to get into the back of the vehicle. But Brittany herself provided you an alternative explanation. Armando helping to cover up the Subaru with *** tarp and branches. What didn’t you hear about that you would reasonably expect to have if Armando had committed this murder? Where’s his DNA nowhere? Why aren’t his prints on the murder weapon? Why isn’t there anything other than Brittany’s word that the gun was in his hand or that he was in Mr Emeralds vehicle. And isn’t that reasonable doubt With respect to the footwear impressions at best they prove what Armando admitted that he assaulted Mr Amaral yet it’s also important that you remember the specifics of Emily Rice’s testimony, she was very clear. She only tested the shoes she was asked to test that’s her job. The shoes belonging to Armando not any shoes belonging to Brittany. And her comparison didn’t result in any sort of identification of that pair of blue Nikes as the source of those impressions. Her only opinion was that those Nikes were *** possible source of the impressions. And I mentioned this here as *** reminder to you all to look critically at all of the evidence as well as at all of the arguments made by the state. In assessing whether the state has met its burden. Make your own assessment of all that you’ve seen and heard and think about what it proves and what it doesn’t prove. The state may not say any of those things. But as I said, I don’t get another chance to stand up here and address the arguments they do make. As Judge Leonard told you yesterday. The state gets to go last because the state and only the state has the burden of proof. The state’s burden of proving these charges beyond *** reasonable doubt Is *** heavy one. The highest standard of proof in our legal system. And for good reason. This high standard. This heavy burden protects you protect your family members and your loved ones protects us all from being convicted on the basis of false accusations, accusations alone aren’t proof. Neither are tears. Ask yourselves whether you trust Brittany’s claims and whether you believe those claims are enough to satisfy the state’s burden of proof. Think about everything the state is asking you to take Brittany’s word, and only Brittany’s word for. You have only Britney’s word that it’s Armando and not her. Who texted Mr Amaral to get him to an in state park for that matter. You have only Brittany’s word. That Armando was there at the park until nearly one a.m. As you heard from Tracy flaherty yesterday. Neither of the phones Armando regularly used not his mother’s, not his stepfather’s. We’re in the sector of the cell tower that the park is in that night. Only Brittanee’s phone loss. And of course, you have only Britney’s word, that it was Armando who shot Mr Emerald? If that isn’t reasonable doubt, then what is Armando, Barone didn’t solicit Brittany Barone to assault or kill Jonathan Emeralds. Armando! Barone didn’t kidnap Jonathan Emerald and he didn’t kill him. Hold the state to its heavy burden. Ask yourselves if you can trust Brittany. Beyond *** reasonable doubt. Because if you can’t then you can’t trust the state’s case, reasonable doubt as to Brittany’s claims means reasonable doubt. As to Armando, Barone’s guilt and means you must find him not guilty. Thank you. So, we’re
Raw video: Armando Barron’s defense lawyer tells jury, ‘You must find him not guilty’
Watch as Armando Barron’s defense attorney gives her closing argument at the murder trial.
Watch as Armando Barron’s defense attorney gives her closing argument at the murder trial.