MINNEAPOLIS — A judge has set bail at $1 million without conditions or $800,000 with conditions for a Minneapolis man charged with murder in the fatal shooting of 15-year-old student-athlete Deshaun Hill.
Cody Logan Fohrenkam faces one count of second-degree murder in Hill's death.
Many questions remain about the reason for the shooting; at this point, investigators believe it was a random encounter on a north Minneapolis sidewalk.
A criminal complaint filed against Fohrenkam lays out the case against the 29-year-old, who prosecutors say killed Hill near the intersection of Golden Valley Road and Penn Ave. North on Feb. 9.
Squads were called to the intersection that day on reports of a shooting and found the teenaged victim laying unresponsive at the intersection. Officers spoke with witnesses who described the shooter as wearing red pants and a black jacket while carrying a backpack.
Investigators recovered surveillance video that shows the suspect walking east on the sidewalk along Golden Valley Road while Hill is walking on the same sidewalk in the opposite direction. The two pass each other close enough to brush shoulders, and the suspect, later identified by police as Fohrenkam, stops behind a tree and is blocked from the video while Hill keeps walking. Seconds later shots ring out, and the victim runs off camera.
Prosecutors say Hill and the suspect were the only ones on the street at the time of the shooting.
One witness told police about an encounter with a man matching the suspect's description who claimed he was looking for a person who stole his cell phone. That same witness said he heard shots, and saw the suspect fleeing the scene. Another witness described an altercation with the suspect 15 or 20 minutes before the shooting as he blocked an alley where she was driving her vehicle.
The investigation led to the identification of Fohrenkam as the suspected shooter. Detectives showed photos of the suspect to witnesses who positively identified him as the man they saw at the scene in red pants. A search warrant at a home where the defendant was seen the day of the shooting yielded a backpack with a unique marking, similar to the one seen at the crime scene.
When arrested Fohrenkam told investigators he was in Wisconsin at the time of the shooting, then changed his story and said he was with his cousin in South Minneapolis. When presented with the fact he was caught on surveillance video near the shooting scene, Fohrenkam admitted he was in the area at a neighborhood store looking for a person who had stolen his phone.
Following the interview police spoke with Fohrenkam's cousin, who denied being with him on Feb. 9 as the defendant claimed. Investigators say they also learned that the defendant has been making calls from jail trying to set up an alibi for himself.
Fohrenkam has a significant criminal history that includes convictions for drugs, weapons possession and arson, among other crimes.
If found guilty of second-degree intentional murder, Cody Fohrenkam faces a maximum recommended sentence of 40 years in prison.
"Deshaun Hill was only 15-years-old when he was fatally shot. This is a tragic death of a young man who should still be with us today," stated Mike Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, in a news release. "Our community once again mourns the loss of a life due to senseless gun violence. My thoughts go out to his family, friends, and loved ones during this unimaginably difficult time."
Fohrenkam's next court appearance is set for April 28.
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