Barker found guilty of murder


Barker family reacts to verdict


A jury found Adrian Barker guilty of murder and felonious murder today for his involvement in the assault and death of Kent State student Christopher Kernich last November.

The jury found Barker guilty of one count of murder, one count of felonious murder, one count of felonious assault and one count of tampering with evidence; it also found Barker not guilty on a count of assaulting Kernich’s friend Christopher Pataky.

Kernich was assaulted in the early morning hours of Nov. 15, 2009, and later died from his injuries. Barker and Ronald Kelly, both students at the University of Akron, were first charged with assault and later murder in the case. Kelly’s trial is set to begin May 5.

Reaction to the verdict

By Erin Dean and Anthony Holloway

After two and a half hours of jury deliberations today, presiding judge John Enlow read the verdict in Adrian Barker’s case.

Tears were shed by families of the accused and the victim, but it was Barb Barker, Adrian’s mother, who sobbed the loudest as she learned her son was convicted of murder.

“Don’t take my baby away,” she cried as sheriff deputies escorted Barker out of the courtroom. “God, no, please. Don’t let them take my son away.”

Other friends and family called out to Barker as he exited.

“There is another step,” one person said. “We’re behind you all the way, Adrian.”

Barker’s brother, Sean Barker, talked about his brother outside of the Ravenna courthouse minutes after the verdict was delivered.

“Adrian is a valuable member of the Shaker Heights community,” he said. “Anyone who ever knew Adrian knew he wouldn’t have done it. We’re going to push for an appeal. Based on the evidence, if it had been (the jurors’) children they would have had a different verdict.”

Sean Barker said he thought there was an underlying issue with his brother’s case.

“The real issue is one minute into the investigation he is arrested, and 30 hours into the investigation a lead detective is saying we should take him out and stomp him,” he said.

Friends and family of Christopher Kernich exited quietly with solemn expressions on their faces.

Barker’s sentencing has not yet been determined, but Portage County prosecutor Victor Vigluicci said the recommended sentencing required by law is 15 to life.

“Justice was served,” Vigluicci said.

Defense attorney Scott Michael Lear had no comment on the verdict.

Contact public affairs reporters Erin Dean and Anthony Holloway at [email protected] and [email protected]