A second murder trial for Adrian Barker, who is accused of beating to death a Fairborn man, started in Portage County Common Pleas Court this week.
Barker, a Shaker Heights resident and a University of Akron student at the time, was charged with assault and murder after Christopher Kernich, 23, a Fairborn native and Kent State University student, was severely beaten during a street brawl in 2009.
Kernich suffered from severe head trauma and went into a coma before he died six days later.
According to police, Kernich was walking with a group of Kent State University Students that exchanged words with Barker and another man, Ronald Kelly, who were riding in a car. Witnesses reported Kelly and Kernich were getting ready to fight when Barker allegedly punched Kernich in the head causing him to fall and hit his head on the ground.
Barker, a University of Akron student at the time, was convicted on murder and assault charges in 2010. He is one of two men charged in Kernich’s death. In separate trials in 2010, Barker and Ronald Kelly, his classmate, were sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
An Ohio appellate court overturned Barker’s conviction in 2011 after it determined the trial judge erred when he didn’t allow jurors to consider lesser charges against the defendant.
Kernich was a junior studying pre-business management. Before he died, hundreds of people visited him in the hospital while he was in a coma. An Ohio State University coach and a Cincinnati Bengals receiver called Kernich’s room while he was hospitalized.