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Jurors find man guilty in 2018 murder of Noblesville woman

Victim beaten with sledgehammer
Posted at 4:48 PM, Jul 31, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS—A Marion County jury did not take long in finding an Indianapolis man guilty in the 2018 murder of a woman.

On the third day of his trial, 26-year-old Joseph Gonzalez was convicted in the beating death of 37-year-old Sarah Serna of Noblesville. Gonzalez was also convicted of being a habitual criminal. He will be sentenced at a later date and could receive over 50 years in prison.

A probable cause document from the Marion County Prosecutor says Gonzalez beat Serna with a sledgehammer during an argument at an apartment in the 200 block of West 32nd Street, in the early-morning hours of November 17, 2018. She was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the Marion County Coroner, Serna died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Police found and arrested Gonzalez in the 2000 block of North College Avenue, shortly after the murder.

Witnesses told police Gonzalez lived at what was described as a boarding house and Serna would sometimes stay with him.
Witnesses said the two often argued and had been fighting in the hours leading up to Serna's death.

The probable cause says a sledgehammer with blood on the handle was found on the floor of the apartment and that trauma to the victim's head "appeared to be consistent with being struck with the sledgehammer as well as other evidence of trauma."

According to her obituary, Serna had worked in retail sales and was a graduate of Hamilton Heights High School.