19-year-old Lincoln man pleads not guilty to manslaughter for July 4 shooting of friend


A 19-year-old Lincoln man has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and second-degree assault for a shooting that left his close friend and roommate dead.

Zachariah Serna had been set for arraignment Wednesday but filed the plea and written waiver of appearance on the charges instead. 

Zachariah Serna

Zachariah Serna

Gavin Hall, a 20-year-old prison guard, was killed in the shooting early July 4.

Serna, who is out of jail on $50,000 bond, hasn’t yet been given a trial date. 

Gavin Hall

Gavin Hall

On July 4, police arrested him after responding to a 911 call and finding Hall dead of a single gunshot wound just after 12:30 a.m., at a home the men rented with two others at 2701 S. 40th St.

Police said that at a small gathering at the home, some participants apparently “were playing around and a firearm was involved.”

By 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, for example firing a firearm within Lincoln city limits.

In an online fundraiser in July, Hall’s family called it a tragic accident.

The two men went to Norris High School together, with Hall graduating in May 2018 and Serna a year later.


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