Man convicted in Zent family murders to be sentenced Friday

Cohen Hancz-Barron
Cohen Hancz-Barron(WPTA)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 1:55 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - The man who was found guilty on four counts of murder in the June 2021 killing of a local family will be sentenced on Friday.

On May 19, 22-year-old Cohen Hancz-Barron was found guilty of four counts of murder after he killed 26-year-old Sarah Zent, 5-year-old Carter Zent, 3-year-old Ashton Zent, and 2-year-old Aubree Zent. The crime happened on June 2, 2021, in the 2900 block of Gay Street.

Family members have called Hancz-Barron a coward after learning he opted not to attend his sentencing hearing. That means the convicted killer will not face the victim impact statements that will be read that day. ABC21′s Tom Powell spoke to the family about that on the News at 7.

TRIAL COVERAGE: Jury selected - Day one of trial - Day two of testimony - Day three of testimony - Both sides rest - Jury finds man guilty on all counts in Zent family murders, recommends life without parole

Zent family (from left to right): Sarah, Aubree, Ashton, Carter
Zent family (from left to right): Sarah, Aubree, Ashton, Carter(Staff)

The jury also recommended that he serve life in prison after the prosecutor filed a special notice with Judge Fran Gull in August of 2021 to request four life sentences without the possibility of parole. The Zent family expressly told the prosecutor they did not want them to pursue the death penalty because they want Hancz-Barron with other inmates in the general population, not in isolation on death row.

Family members of the victims tell WPTA’s Tom Powell Hancz-Barron is not expected to be in the courtroom on Friday, August 5, for his sentencing hearing. Victims’ family members say they will be upset if he follows through with his decision not to attend, as it means Hancz-Barron would not be in the room when victim impact statements are read.

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