Family murders: Day two trial coverage

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 6:47 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - Day two of the murder trial for 21-year-old Cohen Hancz-Barron wrapped up Thursday afternoon. Hancz-Barron is charged with four counts of murder after stabbing and killing a woman and three children.

Sarah Nicole Zent, 26; her sons, Carter Matthew Zent, 5, and Ashton Duwayne Zent, 3; and daughter, Aubree Christine Zent, 2, were all killed last June.

Dr. Scott Wagner who is a Forensics Pathologist at Downtown Lutheran Lab says Sarah was stabbed 24 times and strangled.

Horrifying pictures were shown in court of Sarah’s injuries along with her kids, Carter, Aubree and Ashton.

Wagner says Carter was stabbed 19 times, Aubree was stabbed four times, and Ashton was stabbed 11 times.

Wagner says he believes they all died around the same time at two or three a.m.

Earlier in the day, Hancz-Barron’s mother Denise testified first she says her son showed up at her house around 6:15 a.m. and was knocking saying “Mom, mom it’s your son.”

She says he was very upset, crying and felt like someone was chasing him. She says he told her he had been shot but she didn’t see any wounds or injuries. He also told her quote “Mom, it’s really bad, something bad happened.”

Denise says once she saw what was on the news she called the police and also showed police texts they both exchanged.

As for Sarah Barron, his step-mom, she says she received a call from Hancz-Barron at 3:21 a.m. while she was at work.

Sarah says Hancz-Barron was hysterically sobbing saying “Change your last name, I love you, you need to move and you’ll never talk to me again” which Sarah says he repeated multiple times.

She then said “What’s wrong,” that’s when Hancz-Barron said “I can’t tell you.”

Sarah said police searched her home to see if he was there but he was not. She says she went to Lassus gas station on Dupont Road to talk with police and get advice.

They said to call 911 and record the next conversation with him which came later that day June 2nd which then Hancz-Barron claimed to say he wasn’t safe and that he needed money for food and gas and that he was being followed by someone.

She said “what’s going on,” Hancz-Barron said “Watch the news” and moments later the call dropped and Sarah was informed he had been arrested.

Something else that was brought up during testimony, that morning of the crime, Hancz-Barron wrote with a sharp object “I heart you” on his step mom’s front door.

Day three of the trial is set to begin Friday morning at nine a.m.

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