Slawson, Barker’s Former Tennis Coach, Happy and Hopeful

Allan Slawson, Adrian Barker’s former tennis coach, expressed “extreme happiness and relief” about Barker’s overturned murder conviction.

“Everybody, of course, is in great, great spirits,” he said in a cell phone interview while driving from the Barker family house to the high school. Of Barb Barker, Adrian’s mother, Slawson said, “She was laughing and crying at the same time.”

“All of us have been waiting and praying for this day,” said Slawson, who has known Barker since he was 10 and who publicly supported Barker’s cause. He has visited Barker at the Trumbull Correctional Institution in Leavittsburg three or four times, most recently in late December.

“He’s done remarkably well, he’s stayed strong,” Slawson said, adding that he can’t imagine anyone handling the situation better. Slawson and former math teacher Al Siebert designed and sold “Team Adrian” T-shirts to raise money for Barker’s defense.

Barker (’06), whose murder conviction was overturned today, may face trial on lesser charges. Slawson said neither he nor Barker’s family had yet read the appeals court’s 59-page decision.

“My hope for him is just that he can realize his potential as a person,” said Slawson, who coached tennis at Shaker from 1980-2007 and taught math. He took the same jobs at Beaumont in 2009. He hopes Barker can “lead the life of his choice.”

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