Zent family murders: Day one trial coverage

Cohen Hancz-Barron
Cohen Hancz-Barron(WPTA)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 9:03 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Day one of the murder trial for 21-year-old Cohen Hancz-Barron began Wednesday morning. 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.

Wednesday morning, the mother of Sarah Zent, Melanie Fields testified in court. A very emotional Fields explained to the jurors what she saw and went through when she found Sarah and her children. She said it was the “coldest feeling of her life.”

ABC21 recaps day one of the trial of Cohen Hancz-Barron

During opening statements from prosecutors and the defense, one prosecutor said, “it’s unbelievable and brutal and it’s horrifying what Hancz-Barron did.

The prosecution brought Richard Bevelle to the stand later on in the day, that’s the neighbor that lives across the street from Sarah Zent’s home on Gay Street.

The trial had to be paused at 2 p.m. and resumed at 2:30 as one of the jurors had to leave for medical purposes.

Bevelle said he was working on his truck with friends including Hancz-Barron. Bevelle said he gave permission to Sarah to use his pickup truck when needed but did not give permission to Hancz-Barron to take the truck but he did anyway.

Bevelle went on to say when he entered the home “Seeing what he saw you’re not supposed to see.”

He also said when testifying, when he got his truck returned, the odor coming from it smelt exactly like it did in the home which he says he knew something wasn’t right from that point on.

They also showed surveillance video leading up to when Fort Wayne Police first arrived just before 11 a.m. on June 2, 2021. Day two of the trial is set to begin at 8:45 Thursday morning.

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