Louisville man could face third trial in 2003 murder case - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville man could face third trial in 2003 murder case

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- You could call it a case of déjà vu.

Adam Barker has already been convicted twice in a 2003 murder.

He was acquitted of murder and then re-convicted for second degree manslaughter for the shooting death of Zachary Scarpellini.

A recent appeal by the Kentucky Supreme Court could bring the case back to the courtroom for a third time.

The murder was October 12th, 2003.

"It's a common enough occurrence to hear a kid shouting late at night coming in and out of Bardstown Road. It never occurred that it was a gunshot. Not in this neighborhood," a neighbor said the day after the murder.

It was an unexpected murder in the Highlands.

Twenty-year-old Zachary Scarpellini was shot and killed outside his apartment on Cherokee Road.

It wouldn't be until a year later, after another murder that police would connect Adam Barker to the death of Scarpellini.

"Leads developed early on from this case after the homicide of Barellez which led us to firearms which were recovered and were traced back to Barker through ATF and the ballistics matched the Scarpellini homicide," said Maj. Barry Wilkerson, who was commander of LMPD's Homicide Unit at the time.

Barker was found guilty of fatally stabbing 22-year-old Carlos Berrelez outside a Louisville bar in October 2004.

He was later charged with the previous shooting of Scarpellini.

Then in October 2009, a Jefferson Circuit Court jury found that Barker was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot Scarpellini.

Barker was acquitted of murder but convicted of second-degree manslaughter.

The high court maintained a tampering conviction, but sent the manslaughter case back to Jefferson Circuit Court in 2011.

Now, another reversal, just filed last week.

'The Kentucky Supreme Court reversed Adam Barker's manslaughter conviction for the shooting of Zachary Scarpellini. What they found in their opinion was one of the jury instructions was improper due to the facts of the case," said Frank Dahl, prosecutor.

Dahl says he was surprised when he heard about the Supreme Court's opinion.

"I thought the evidence did support the instruction but I respect obviously the Supreme Court's opinion and will follow their instructions if we try it a third time," said Dahl.

He says Scarpellini's family is upset over the high court's decision.

"I think they were finally getting to a point where they were starting to move on somewhat but I think this is going to reopen old wounds," Dahl told WDRB.

Barker is serving a 40 year sentence for the murder of Berellez.

He’s being held at the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Facility.

The prosecutor says he has to meet with the defense attorneys and detectives on the case to see how they'll proceed.

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