MOUNT VERNON — Caleb Sarge admitted to police that he shot John Serio, but claims he did it in self-defense, according to information presented Tuesday in Mount Vernon Municipal Court.

Sarge, 27, appeared in court Tuesday for a bond hearing via video from the Knox County Jail. He has been charged with one count of murder, an unclassified felony that carries 15 years to life in prison. The charge further includes a gun specification, which carries an additional three years in prison.

Sarge did not enter a plea to the charges.

Sarge was represented at Tuesday’s hearing by Public Defender John Pyle.

Pyle mentioned self defense during discussions to set Sarge’s bond, stating “that’s what happened here.”

The charge against Sarge stems from the Monday shooting death of Serio, 41, at Sarge’s Mount Vernon residence. Serio was found dead from a single gunshot wound to the chest. According to an arrest warrant filed by Mount Vernon Police in municipal court, Sarge admitted twice to shooting Serio, at the scene and again at the police station.

Serio had apparently been living at Sarge’s residence.

Municipal Court Judge John Thatcher set Sarge’s bond at $500,000. Pyle asked the bond be lowered to $50,000, citing Sarge’s lack of a prior record. If released, Sarge would stay with family in Blacklick, Ohio, Pyle said.

Knox County Prosecuting Attorney Chip McConville requested the $500,000 bond, citing the serious nature of the crime.

The case is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Dec. 5 in municipal court.

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Nick Sabo: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter,



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