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Lincoln man sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison for killing roommate

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A Lincoln man was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison Thursday after being found guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of his roommate.

Zachariah Serna

Serna

Zachariah A. Serna, 20, pleaded no contest to the charge of manslaughter in a plea agreement with the Lancaster County Attorney’s Office. In exchange, prosecutors dismissed a charge of second-degree assault.

Under state law, Serna will be eligible for parole after five years and must be released after 10. He is credited with three days he already has served in jail.

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Serna admitted to shooting 20-year-old Gavin Hall in the head during a gathering in the early hours of July 4, 2020, at their residence on South 40th Street near Lincoln Southeast High School. Witnesses said Serna and Hall were “bantering back and forth” during a small gathering before Serna retrieved a shotgun from his bedroom and walked toward Hall.

Serna discharged the gun, striking Hall in the head. Hall was pronounced dead at the scene.

Under Nebraska law, a person commits manslaughter by killing someone without malice upon a sudden quarrel or causing a death unintentionally while committing an unlawful act. Discharging a firearm within the Lincoln city limits is an unlawful act.

The two men attended Norris High School in Firth, Nebraska. Hall graduated in 2018 and Serna in 2019.


kevin.cole@owh.com, 402-444-1272

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