Lincoln man pleads no contest in shooting death of friend

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Lincoln man has pleaded no contest to unintentionally shooting and killing a friend and roommate last year.

Zachariah Serna, 20, accepted the plea deal on a manslaughter charge Friday in death of Gavin Hall, 20, on July 4, 2020, during a small gathering of friends at a home.

Hall died of a single gunshot wound to the head, police said.

Deputy Lancaster County Attorney Christopher Reid said Serna told investigators he and Hall were joking around and struggling over a shotgun when it went off, The Lincoln Journal Star reported.

Reid said Erin Sims, an expert in blood-pattern analysis with the Lincoln Police Department, would testify that forensic evidence suggested Serna and Hall were at least 4 feet apart when the gun fired.

Serna currently is out of jail on $50,000 bond and faces up to 20 years in prison at his sentencing in October.

In an online fundraiser last year, Hall’s family called the shooting a tragic accident.