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Lakeland Man Charged With Manslaughter After Punching & Killing Another Man Friday

Lakeland, Florida – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office have arrested Travis Barlow, DOB: 3/18/1983, and charged him with Manslaught. On June 30, 2018 Barlow is accused of punching and killing Adam Hoffman,   during a domestic dispute.

The following is an excerpt from the arrest affidavit:

On June 30, 2018 at 7:37 pm the Polk County Sheriffs received a call for service at (redacted location) in Lakeland, Florida in reference to an altercation where the victim, Adam Hoffman, was punched by the suspect, Travis Barlow. The reportee notified law enforcement the victim was unresponsive and not breathing. Deputies responded to the scene as well as Polk County EMS. EMS attempted life savings measures on scene, but had to transport the victim to Lakeland Regional Health for further treatment. Upon arrival at Lakeland Regional Health life saving measures on the victim were continued. Medical tests determined the victim had a brain bleed that was bleeding into the spinal cord. Medical staff also completed test for brain activity on the victim. After further testing the victim was declared brain dead. The victim’s brain dead status was reported to the District 10 Medical Examiner’s Office. 

According to affidavit earlier in the day the victim, Hoffman, had went to the residence of the suspect earlier in the day. The suspect was not home and the victim eventually left. It is unclear why the victim went to the suspects residence, but it appeared to be related to a domestic dispute. The follow excerpt from the arrest affidavit is what occurred next after the suspect, Travis Barlow, arrived home:

Suspect Travis became upset and attempted to call the victim from (redacted) phone and his phone, but the victim did not answer any call. Approximately 10 minutes later, the victim called (redacted) phone, which was answered by Suspect Travis.

During the phone call between Suspect Travis and the victim, the two got into a verbal argument about the victim coming over without permission. Suspect Travis told the victim to come back over  (To Suspect Travis’s) house in order for the two to fight. These messages were also sent from Suspect Travis to the victim via text message. These text messages also reveal the victim apologized initially and refused to go back to the Suspect’s residence.

During the exchange between Suspect Travis and the victim, the two argued via text message about fighting each other, which the victim sent Suspect Travis his address. The last text message exchange was sent from the victim to Suspect Travis stating he was sorry.

At approximately 15:30 pm, Suspect Travis arrived at the victim’s residence along with (redacted) As Suspect Travis arrived at the victim’s residence, Suspect Travis parked his vehicle and started to walk towards the victim’s residence. As Suspect Travis approached the victim’s house, witness (redacted) confronted him. Witness (redacted) reported to detectives she told Suspect Travis not to bring this altercation to her house due to her child being present. Also at this time, Witness (redacted) was present. Witness stated the victim was telling Suspect Travis he was sorry and did not want any problems with Suspect Travis.

Witness stated Suspect Travis told the victim he would respect the wishes of (redacted), and would leave without causing any further altercation, but told the victim “your ass is mine Hoss”. Suspect Travis got into his vehicle and started to drive away. The victim then started to walk back towards the residence when Suspect Travis stopped his vehicle and exited. Witnesses (redacted), (redacted) and (redacted) observed Suspect Travis exit his vehicle, walk towards the victim (whom was turned away from the approaching suspect), and grab his by the arm. Witnesses (redacted), (redacted) and (redacted) stated Suspect Travis turned the victim around by his arm and punched him twice on the head. The victim immediately fell to the ground on his stomach. Witnesses stated Suspect Travis then walked back to his vehicle, got in, and left the scene.

Witness (redacted) ran to the victim and found the victim was gasping for air. Witness (redacted) turned the victim over to his back and noted the victim was taking short-fast breaths, the victim’s eyes were not focused, and then soon there after the victim started to turn purple. Witness stated the victim became unresponsive and was not breathing. Witnesses called 911 and CPR was started on the victim until Deputies arrived on scene. Once EMS arrived, they took over on life saving efforts and eventually transported the victim the Lakeland Regional Health. 

Interviews with all witnesses at the scene were consistent with each other’s about the events that took place and how the victim sustained his injuries.

Based on the information provided by the witnesses, Deputies responded to Suspect Travis’ residence and located him as well as (redacted). Detectives then responded to Suspect Travis’ residence where both he and (redacted) agreed to speak with detectives at the Northwest Command Center.

Post Miranda interviews were then completed with Suspect Travis and (redacted). Suspect Travis stated while the victim was at his residence he was disrespecting his (redacted). The suspect stated his (redacted) asked the victim to leave the residence at which time the victim went to the suspect’s neighbor’s residence. The suspect stated when (redacted) arrived home from work he observed the victim at his residence and intoxicated. He stated (redacted) advised the victim that he needed to leave the residence at which time the victim left.

The suspect confirmed he and the victim had phone conversations and text message conversations about fighting each other. The suspect invited the victim to come to his residence where they would settle their dispute but the victim refused. The suspect stated the victim provided him with his address for the two of them to meet up and fight.

The suspect stated he responded to the victim’s residence and parked across the street from the victim’s residence. He stated there were approximately four to five other people at the residence when he and (redacted) arrived. He stated when he reached the driveway of the residence a female approached him and told him she did not want any fighting at her residence. He advised the victim that if the fight did not happen at the residence he would get him another time. He stated that he and (redacted) returned to their vehicle and began to drive away when he believed he heard a female say “I thought you were going to do something? No one’s calling the cops.” The suspect stated he then exited his vehicle and he and the victim began walking towards each other. Once in front of each other he struck the victim in the face one time with his a closed fist. He stated the victim fell to his knees and then onto his stomach. He returned to his vehicle and he and (redacted) left the residence.


A witness that accompanied suspect Travis Barlow to the victims home confirmed Barlow’s version of the blow that killed the victim, which was different than the 3 witnesses at Hoffman’s residence.

Detectives determined they had enough probable cause to arrest Barlow. The suspect drove 35 minutes to the victims residence to continue their dispute and to fight him. After 3 witnesses stating that the victim was walking away and was spun around and stuck in the head twice. They declared the victim to be defenseless at this time.

Barlow was taken to Polk County Jail. He will have his first court appearance today.


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Staff Reporter

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