A Hennepin County jury found Cody Fohrenkam guilty of 2nd degree murder on January 26 in the shooting death of Deshaun Hill Jr. last February. Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty made the following statement after the verdict.
Today a unanimous jury convicted Cody Fohrenkam of the murder of Deshaun Hill.
Nearly one year ago, on February 9, 2022, 15-year-old Deshaun – a son, a brother, a student, an athlete, a friend – was simply walking down the street when he was violently shot and killed.
This senseless act of gun violence devastated those who knew and loved Deshaun and everyone in the North High School community and beyond.
With this verdict, Mr. Forhrenkam is held legally accountable for taking Deshaun’s life.
Gun violence is far too common in our communities. The prevalence of guns in our neighborhoods means even the smallest incidents can turn violent in an instant – a flash of anger over a perceived affront during a minor interaction in traffic, a schoolyard disagreement, or simply a bad day after having a phone stolen.
As a community we must take this violence seriously and it must spur us to action. I am committed to doing my part, working with others in the community and at all levels help get guns off the street, bring justice for victims and their families, and protect those not yet harmed by working to prevent violent crime in the first place.
We know arrest and prosecution is not sufficient to end to gun violence. We need to address the issues that make violence a viable decision for far too many people. Our goal should be to prevent violence before it takes a life or harms another victim.
But aggressive prosecution of violent crime is a critical part of a comprehensive response to violence. This office will continue to work with law enforcement to aggressively prosecute violence and hold those responsible accountable.
A conviction like this, in a case like this, isn’t possible without many, many people playing a role. And I want to take a moment to acknowledge some of them.
First and foremost, to Deshaun’s family and loved ones – you have endured a year of sadness and loss. Nothing will bring him back, but I hope you can find some level of comfort in this verdict.
To the community – this conviction was possible only because several people from the community showed extraordinary courage and helped law enforcement identify the person responsible and hold him accountable. If we are to truly address gun violence, this is what it will take – all of us coming together, as a community, to do our part and refuse to accept it.
To the Minneapolis Police Department officers, investigators, analysts, and others who played a role -this was great police work and effective investigation. I’m thankful for the partnership.
And our team in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. There is a whole team of people who work on cases and ultimately get them ready for trial. Many of them are always behind the scenes. I am grateful for the lawyers, the victim advocates, the paralegals, the video team, and all in our office playing a role. This is difficult work and I’m grateful to all of you.
Finally, to the jury – thank you for your service. It is very hard to be on a jury and they took their job seriously and played their part.
As I pledged when I sought this office, we will put victims and those around them at the center of our work and we will aggressively prosecute violence in our communities. While this case began before I took office, this verdict makes it clear we will continue to confront violence and hold those responsible accountable.
Nothing will bring Deshaun back, but I hope the verdict is one step forward on the path toward healing for Deshaun’s family and all who were impacted by this tragedy.