Couple indicted after man was killed, decapitated

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A couple accused in the killing and decapitation of the woman’s lover have been indicted, the attorney general’s office has announced.

The woman’s husband is accused of luring Jonathan Amerault, 25, on Sept. 19 to a park, kidnapping him and then shooting him to death in a car. He is also accused of hiding the body at a campsite in northern New Hampshire.

The attorney general’s office announced late Wednesday that the husband was indicted on multiple charges including capital murder, first-degree murder, kidnapping and second-degree assault in Amerault’s killing.

The Associated Press is not naming the couple because doing so could identify the woman, who says she suffered extreme abuse and was under duress at the time of the killing. After her husband discovered her affair, she told authorities that he repeatedly assaulted her, put a gun in her mouth and choked her until she passed out.

The husband was also indicted on domestic violence and other charges, including several for allegedly forcing his wife to seriously injure Amerault.

The man’s wife was indicted on charges of falsifying evidence, including allegedly decapitating Amerault. She also is accused of wrapping his body in a tarp and dragging it to a remote area and cleaning Amerault’s car after he was killed.

Both have pleaded not guilty.

Last month, Coos County Superior Court Judge Peter Bornstein denied the woman’s bail request and sided with prosecutors, who acknowledged she was a victim of domestic violence, but still should have done more to alert authorities about the killing.

A lawyer for the husband did return a call seeking comment. But a lawyer for his wife said his client was innocent.

“She cooperated with police and told them the truth. She is a victim of domestic violence,” said Richard Guerriero, noting that his client was “beaten severely” by her husband. “We view the indictments as the next step towards the speedy jury trial which we have demanded. We look forward to that trial and to the jury setting her free.”

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