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Jury to begin deliberations in 2021 quadruple murder trial

Cohen Hancz-Barron
Cohen Hancz-Barron(Fort Wayne's NBC)
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 12:06 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - Closing arguments wrapped up Wednesday in the trial of a 22-year-old Fort Wayne man accused of killing a woman and her three children.

Tom Powell will be in the courtroom this afternoon as the jury begins deliberations. Cohen Hancz-Barron is charged with four counts of murder after Fort Wayne police say he stabbed and strangled 26-year-old Sarah Zent and stabbed her three children, ages 2 to 5, at a home on Gay Street on June 2, 2021.

TRIAL COVERAGE: Jury selected - Day one of trial - Day two of testimony - Day three of testimony - Both sides rest

The probable cause document filed in the case details a timeline of the investigation, but any semblance of a motive remains unclear. Two initial witnesses who discovered the victims immediately identified the suspect as Hancz-Barron. Investigators then used digital intelligence to track Hancz-Barron to an apartment complex in Lafayette hours after the crime. Detectives say they found he had a bloodied knife and the adult victim’s credit card in his wallet.

He was then taken into custody, and on his way back to Allen County, he reportedly asked the detective in the car if he “will do my time for this case before the time I had on the other case.” Hancz-Barron was serving the remainder of a robbery conviction at a drug rehabilitation center in Tippecanoe County. A warrant was issued for his arrest after he walked away from the facility in April of 2021.

In August of 2021, the prosecutor filed a special notice with Judge Fran Gull to request four life sentences without the possibility of parole for Hancz-Barron. He pleaded not guilty on June 10, 2021.

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