MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Video evidence shown Wednesday in the trial of Cody Forenkam, the man accused in the murder of star Minneapolis North quarterback Deshaun Hill, captured the moment shots were fired in the case, something that the Hill's family attorney says amounts to nothing less than a cold-blooded killing.
For the very first time, the jury and DeShaun Hill Junior's family watched surveillance video of the young man's deadly encounter on a north Minneapolis sidewalk. The footage shows the 15-year-old and a gunman pass each other before the suspect fires three rounds. Prosecutors have charged Cody Fohrenkam with second-degree murder.
The difficult-to-watch video really captures the senseless act of violence. As it was played, the courtroom gallery gasped. There were tears and anger, with many of DeShaun's loved ones in the courtroom. At one point, the judge paused proceedings to remind everyone about proper decorum, not wanting to have an emotional impact on the jury.
'It was a cold-blooded killing and there's no other way to put it,' said Hill family attorney William Walker.
Hill's family attorney spoke on their behalf immediately after watching surveillance videos of the deadly shooting of their promising 15-year-old son and brother for the very first time.
The Minneapolis North High starting quarterback was walking on the sidewalk near Wally's Foods at Penn Avenue and Golden Valley Road around noon on February 9, 2022. A perhaps slight brush of the arm with the gunman wearing distinctive red sweatpants and a hoodie as the two passed. Hill, in a walking boot from a football injury, doesn't appear to break stride in the footage. The shooter though would stop, pivot, reach into his backpack, and fire three rounds toward Hill's back. One would strike him in the head.
The prosecution spent Wednesday with their lead case investigator, retired homicide sergeant Matthew Wente, on the stand, attempting to connect the dots directly to the defendant Cody Fohrenkam.
‘The next thing you hear is 'pop, pop, pop,’" recalled Walker. "Three bullets. DeShaun falls to the ground, dead at 12:30 – when he should have been in school."
The jury of 12 and three alternates focused their attention on an oversized courtroom TV monitor to watch a handful of videos and still photos from the neighborhood, tracking the shooter in those distinctive red pants. Hours earlier, it appears that very same man is in gray sweats when he is beaten up inside Wally's and robbed of his cell phone at knifepoint.
The footage capturing his agitation afterward left DeShaun's family wondering if he just snapped in that moment on the sidewalk.
"The video today, the video surveillance, the way they've linked this stuff together, there is no doubt about what happened and whether or not there should be a conviction in this case," said Walker.
Evidence would show Cody Fohrenkam had family living in a home in that neighborhood. It's unclear exactly when he would have changed into the red pants.
That said, the jury got to watch a recording of his police interrogation where he denied being the shooter, but appeared to acknowledge getting mugged at Wally's.
We expect the case to go to the jury on Thursday, after closing arguments.