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Man charged in sledgehammer murder of woman goes on trial

Police say victim and suspect had argued
Posted at 1:24 PM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 13:31:24-04

INDIANAPOLIS—Trial is underway for an Indianapolis man charged with using a sledgehammer in the beating death of a 37-year-old Noblesville woman.

A probable cause document from the Marion County Prosecutor says 26-year-old Joseph Gonzalez beat Sarah 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 Gonzalez shortly after the incident in the 2000 block of North College Avenue. He was arrested and charged with Murder along with being a Habitual Offender.

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.