The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, May 18, 2022 1:30 pm

Jury deliberating in quadruple-homicide trial

JAMES D. WOLF JR. | The Journal Gazette

The prosecution and the defense gave their closing arguments Wednesday morning in the murder trial of Cohen Hancz-Barron.

The jury is now in deliberations and could return with a verdict later this afternoon.

Hancz-Barron, 22, is on trial for four counts of murder, accused of killing his girlfriend and her three children with a knife on June 3 in their home in the 2900 block of Gay Street. The victims were 26-year-old Sarah Zent, and her children -- Carter Mathew Zent, 5; Ashton Duwayne Zent, 3; and Aubree Christine Zent, 2.

If the jury returns with a guilty verdict, it will go back into deliberations on a sentence enhancement of life without parole. Prosecutors can request this sentence enhancement for aggravating circumstances in a crime, such as when a victim is younger than 12 years old

During closing arguments Wednesday, the prosecution summarized the case and the evidence submitted since the trial began May 11. The prosecution provided a timeline for the murders and Hancz-Barron’s alleged behavior after the killings until police took him into custody.

The defense argued that prosecutors were relying on the jurors' emotions and the large amount of evidence -- more than 258 exhibits -- to overwhelm them. The defense said none of the evidence proves conclusively that Hancz-Barron committed the murders.

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