The 20-year-old Bradenton man accused of stabbing and clubbing to death a former professor has been refused bond.
According to court documents, Barry Joshua Baer appeared before a judge on Sunday, after refusing to appear the previous day, and he will be represented by a public defender.
Baer faces charges of murder, fleeing law enforcement at a high speed, failing to drive in a single lane and driving in the wrong lane.
Around 6 a.m. on Jan. 11, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office responded to Sarasota resident Hollant Maxford Adrien dead in the roadway in the 2100 block of 58th Avenue East, in the back of an industrial park. Adrien’s head had what was described as “extreme blunt force trauma,” according to a probable cause affidavit.
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Adrien’s black Toyota Scion was missing, and the vehicle was located by a sheriff’s deputy 15 hours later in Lakewood Ranch.
The deputy tried to pull over the car, but Baer, who was driving, sped away south in the northbound lanes of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.
According to court records, the car was clocked at speeds of 85 to 90 miles per hour. Baer tried to turn east onto 44th Avenue East but crashed into a pedestrian sign and traffic signal.
Plastic had been wrapped around the steering wheel and gear shift, according to the affidavit.
The following day, detectives searched the house of Baer’s friend, Alexander Turner, who was also arrested on probation violation charges. Detectives found Adrien’s vehicle registration, mail, ID cards and checkbook in a recycling bin outside the garage door.
Witnesses told detectives Baer was seen in Adrien’s car the morning of the homicide, according to the affidavit.
Two days after the homicide and after being read his Miranda rights, Baer told investigators that Adrien picked him up and drove him to the back of the industrial park. According to Baer, Adrien tried to make sexual advances, but Baer refused. He said he then took out a knife he carried for protection and stabbed Adrien in the neck.
After a fight, Baer said he then struck Adrien in the head 40 to 45 times in the head with a hammer.
Later, Baer went to Turner’s house to clean out the car and take Adrien’s money, according to the affidavit.
Law enforcement doesn’t know why Adrien was in Sarasota. He had previously taught French at the university level as a visiting assistant professor at Hamline University in Minnesota and Wittenberg University in Ohio, but court records showed he owed money on a condo along Honore Avenue in Sarasota County as early as 2006. Court records also put him in Sarasota in 2013, as he ran a red light on Fruitville Road.
A string of sexual assault accusations were unfounded, but he stood trial in 2013 in Clark County, Ohio, for an alleged rape and kidnapping of a 19-year-old developmentally disabled man. Adrien was found not guilty as evidence and testimony weren’t convincing.
After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, his country of birth, Adrien offered free Creole lessons to volunteer workers and garnered national attention.