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Lincoln man sentenced in roommate’s shooting death

October 28, 2021 GMT

A 20-year-old Lincoln man who shot and killed his best friend and roommate was sentenced Thursday to 10 to 20 years in prison.

Zachariah Serna was sentenced for manslaughter in the July 4, 2020, death of 20-year-old Gavin Hall, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

At a plea hearing in September, prosecutors said Serna, Hall and another roommate were joking around when Serna retrieved a shotgun from his bedroom.

Serna told police he thought the gun was unloaded but said it discharged as he and Hall fought over it, killing Hall with a gunshot wound to the head.

But prosecutors say blood-pattern analysis suggested Serna and the shotgun were at least 4 feet from Hall when the shot was fired.


Lancaster County District Judge Andrew Jacobsen said Serna, by all accounts, is an upstanding young man with a bright future.

“This was undoubtedly a completely reckless act, and it’s truly tragic when good people do bad things,” the judge said. “But there was a young man who lost his life here because of your recklessness.”

Serna will be eligible for parole after serving five years.