Barker pleads not guilty to murder in Kernich case

Anthony Holloway

Adrian Barker pleaded not guilty to all charges in an arraignment yesterday, which lasted eight hours at the Portage County Court House.

Barker is accused in the beating death of Kent State student Christopher Kernich.

In the early morning hours of Nov. 15, 2009, Kernich was allegedly almost struck by a car driven by Glenn P. Jefferson Jr. Barker and co-defendant Ronald Kelly allegedly got out of the car and assaulted Kernich, who died a week later from his injuries at Akron City Hospital.

Yesterday’s hearing also covered additional charges filed against Barker, a bond hearing and pre-trial motions.

In addition to the original charges of felonious assault and obstructing official business, Barker was charged and pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and one count each of assault, tampering with evidence and obstructing justice.

Barker’s defense attorney Scott Lear asked the court to reduce the bond amount for Barker, and his motion was denied.

The pre-trial motions from Lear took most of the court’s time. He motioned to suppress evidence based on the “show-up” process done by Kent Police on the night of the incident. The show-up process is when an officer brings a witness to look at the suspect and ask if they can “recognize” the person, and if so, where from.

Lear and prosecuting attorney Tom Buchanan questioned Kent Police officers who were on the scene during the incident about the show-up process done that night, as well as two witnesses who were involved in the process.

The interviews of witnesses were unable to be finished during today’s session and are set to be continued April 8 at 9 a.m.

— Anthony Holloway