Appeal denied for Akron man convicted in Kent State student’s murder

Adrian Barker. Photo courtesy of Kent City Police.

Adrian Barker. Photo courtesy of Kent City Police.

Katy Coduto

Ronald Kelly, the Akron man convicted of murder and felonious assault in the 2009 death of Christopher Kernich, will not have his appeal heard in the Ohio Supreme Court.

His attorney said Kelly was denied a fair trial and meaningful appeal based on ineffective assistance of counsel in his murder trial and the following appellate case.

Kelly was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison in June 2010 following the November 2009 fight that resulted in Kernich’s death. Kelly and his co-defendant, Adrian Barker, were both found guilty of murder and felonious assault after repeatedly kicking and hitting Kernich.

Kernich, who was 23 at the time and a senior at Kent State, died six days after the fight due to a serious brain injury. He never regained consciousness after the fight.

Barker’s convictions were both overturned through appeals in February 2012. He is currently in the Lorain Correctional Institution and will be tried a second time. There will be a status conference for Barker at 1 p.m. on June 28. His trial to jury is set for 9 a.m. August 13.

Contact Katy Coduto at [email protected].