Jury convicts Fort Wayne man in slayings of woman, her 3 kids

A jury convicted a man Thursday in the killings of a woman and her three children who were slain last year in their northeastern Indiana home.

An Allen County jury found Cohen Hancz-Barron of Fort Wayne guilty of four counts of murder following a seven-day trial in the June 2021 deaths of his girlfriend and her three children.

Hancz-Barron, 22, showed no emotion and stared at Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull as she read the verdicts Thursday morning, The Journal Gazette reported. Deliberations began Wednesday without the jury reaching a verdict. Jurors resumed deliberations Thursday before reaching a verdict.

Attorneys were expected to begin the sentencing phase of the trial later Thursday. Prosecutors have asked that the jury recommend life in prison without parole for Hancz-Barron.

Hancz-Barron was accused of using a knife to kill his girlfriend, Sarah Nicole Zent, 26; her sons, Carter Matthew Zent, 5; Ashton Duwayne Zent, 3; and daughter, Aubree Christine Zent, 2, in their Fort Wayne home. All four died of stab wounds, and the mother also had been strangled, the Allen County coroner said.

Hancz-Barron was arrested hours later at an apartment complex in Lafayette more than 100 miles from where the bodies were found.

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