Celebration of life scheduled for Saturday for Jon Amerault
MILFORD – At just 25 years old, Jon Amerault, an outdoorsman who loved, among other recreational pursuits, hiking and mountain climbing, had already conquered all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot mountains.
And the longtime Milford resident had just one more climb remaining to reach another prodigious milestone: Hiking to the summit of each of the 100 highest peaks in New England.
Those close to Jonathan L. Amerault, who graduated from Milford High in 2013 and went on to become an honors graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, are struggling to keep their focus on the man they knew and loved, rather than the horrific circumstances that led to his death, allegedly at the hands of a Jaffrey man who believed his wife was having an affair with Amerault.
The man, Armando Barron, 30, of 63 Main St., Jaffrey, is charged with a felony count of capital murder, which accuses him of shooting Amerault in the head and chest and killing him, allegedly while engaged in committing a kidnapping.
Barron also faces three domestic violence-related charges, for allegedly assaulting his wife, Britany, 31, by strangling her, placing a gun in her mouth and threatening her, and punching her in the face.
The assault was reportedly triggered by Armando Barron’s belief that his wife was having an affair with Amerault. Britany Barron and Amerault were co-workers at Teleflex Medical, a medical supply firm in Jaffrey.
Britany Barron, meanwhile, is charged with three felony counts of falsifying physical evidence for allegedly trying to remove evidence from Amerault’s car, wrapping his body in a tarp to conceal it from authorities, and removing Amerault’s head with a saw with the alleged intent to impair a law enforcement investigation.
According to police affidavits, Armando Barron ordered his wife to wipe evidence from the car and to remove Amerault’s head so he couldn’t be identified.
Both Barrons were arraigned, entered not guilty charges and ordered held on preventive detention as their cases move forward.
Members of Amerault’s family, meanwhile, said he “loved spending time outdoors, whether it was hiking, snowmobiling, skiing or riding an ATV.” He was also active in the local hiking community, and was known for sharing “stories from his endeavors” and offering hiking advice on social media.
His involvement in athletic activities also included high school sports, where he was named captain of Milford High’s indoor and outdoor track teams and its cross-country team in his senior year.
According to Amerault’s obituary, his family is hosting a celebration of life in his honor at 1 p.m. Saturday on the athletic fields at Milford High, 100 West St.
Rain date is 1 p.m. Sunday.
The family asks attendees to adhere to safety guidelines by wearing face masks and observing social distancing.
Memorial donations can be made in Amerault’s name by going to https://www.outdoors.org/honor-memorial-gift.
Amerault’s community involvement didn’t end with athletics. His volunteer service at the Souhegan Valley Boys and Girls Club and other agencies was notable not only locally, but was recognized nationally when former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama each awarded him The White House Youth Volunteer of the Year.
Former Milford High track and field coach Mike Wright, in a story published in the Keene Sentinel, recalled Amerault as “a really good kid (who) was doing really well for himself.”
Wright told the Sentinel that his daughter, Cassie, and Amerault were Milford High classmates who became close friends. The two laughed a lot and were “always having a good time, joking about stuff that teenagers joke about …,” Wright said.
Another of Amerault’s friends, Danielle Atkinson, expressed dismay while speaking with the Sentinel.
“For someone to do something like that is crazy,” Atkinson said, adding that “he was such a great guy … it just doesn’t make sense.”
Atkinson also told the Sentinel that she plans to hike Camel’s Hump, in Duxbury, Vt., in the near future as a tribute to Amerault.
The mountain, she said, is the only one of New England’s 100 highest peaks Amerault hadn’t climbed.
Dean Shalhoup may be reached at 594-1256 or email@example.com.