Jury deliberating in trial of man accused of killing mother, 3 children

Closing arguments, verdict expected Wednesday

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — An Allen County jury is weighing the fate of a man charged in the 2021 quadruple murder on Homosexual Street that took the lives of a youthful mom and her three kids.

Closing arguments wrapped up midday Wednesday in the trial of 22-12 months-old Cohen Hancz-Barron, billed with 4 counts of murder and the likelihood of lifetime without parole in the stabbing fatalities of Sarah Zent, 26, her sons, Carter, 5, and Ashton, 3, and her 2-12 months-old daughter, Aubree.

In his closing argument, direct prosecutor Tom Chaille mentioned Hancz-Barron’s actions had been deliberate and the result of a domestic dispute. There were being a complete of 55 stab wounds sent to the 4 “defenseless” victims, he told the jury. Proof advised Carter, 5, and Sarah Zent equally fought back.

“What he did to people defenseless people is so outside the house our frame of reference, it’s nearly unbelievable,” claimed Chaille.

When he was arrested, Hancz-Barron experienced the knife on him that contained his DNA and that of 3 other victims. He also experienced gardening gloves that had the DNA of all victims on them.

If convicted in the deaths, then the jury will have the process of continuing its deliberation on a life devoid of parole enhancement ,or additional sentence, sought by the prosecution.

Pictured are Sarah Zent and her 3 kids.

On June 2, 2021, the four victims have been observed in a again bedroom at 2904 Gay St., Sarah, kneeling and deal with down in a prayer posture at the edge of the mattress. Dr. Scott Wagner, forensic pathologist, mentioned her killer also strangled her, both equally manually and with an electric powered cord, and tried using to suffocate her by pressing her experience towards a little something really hard.

Her three little ones had been located lying face down, stabbed in the neck and right flank, their bodies amidst a jumble of diapers, wipes, Infants R Us loyalty cards and wads of bathroom paper, among the other objects. Wagner place their time of demise in between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Both Sarah and Carter had protection wounds in the arm and hand.

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Found by Sarah Zent’s sister, Joselyn Zent and her boyfriend, Jeremy Nielsen, the few promptly accused Hancz-Barron when the police arrived around 10:43 a.m.  Joselyn and Nielsen experienced expended an hour with Joselyn’s mother, Melanie Fields and neighbor Richard Bevelle searching for the family members. It was Bevelle who alerted Fields and Zent that his truck experienced been taken by Hancz-Barron just in advance of 6 a.m. and he’d been hoping to get his black “Harley Davidson” F-150 select up again ever due to the fact.

The killer experienced lined their bodies with a pink or peach bed masking and the victims experienced been undetectable right up until Nielsen put his hand shut to a stain and felt anything “rock challenging.” After lifting that component of the coverlet, Joselyn “flung back” the bedspread to their horror. The 9-11 calls to dispatch brought the immediacy of their anguish to the courtroom.

“My girlfriend’s household has been murdered,” Nielsen cried as he tried to describe the scene to the dispatcher.

Tuesday, the protection led by Anthony Churchward and William Lebrato, Allen County chief community defender, made it crystal clear they imagined the scene could have been disturbed just before the law enforcement arrived and objected when Main Counsel Tom Chaille and deputy prosecutor Tesa Helge brought back a DNA expert from the Indiana Point out Police laboratory. Ashley Luther was requested to make clear her results on a pair of gardening gloves uncovered future to Aubree on the mattress.

Luther explained it experienced been 1 of the most hard DNA situations she could keep in mind and her testimony was of a scientific character and language rarely employed. The defense argued that the testimony had already been listened to and there was absolutely nothing new to be presented.

“That should have been the conclusion of it,” Churchward claimed.

Nevertheless, Luther was permitted to continue and, in plainer language, tied one of the swabs taken from a glove to Hancz-Barron and the two boys with a potent likelihood that DNA from Sarah and Aubree was provided.

In testimony previous 7 days, blood on a knife Hancz-Barron experienced when he was arrested in Lafayette various hours following the stabbing fatalities, also connected him to three of the victims.

Direct murder detective Brian Martin testified on the zip gun, or alternatively the partially-manufactured zip gun, discovered in the kitchen alongside with a number of reside rounds of ammunition and shell casings. But the zip gun does not appear to be to have figured in the crime scene or what happened in the early early morning that working day. Although it was mentioned together with hundreds of crime scene goods, it does not appear to be crucial in either scenario.

Despite the fact that the prosecution had surveillance online video from a nearby school displaying Hancz-Barron having into Bevelle’s truck and damning testimony from Hancz-Barron’s mother and phase-mother, the defense informed Gull they would protect their client by arguing the evidence is circumstantial.

“There ended up no eyewitnesses,” Churchward said in his opening arguments last 7 days and warned that the point out had to establish its scenario “beyond a affordable question.” He also told the jurors they would have to have to make sure they “held the right human being accountable.” The defense has not referred to as any witnesses nor presented proof of any person else being associated.