Fohrenkam murder trial delayed, 'D-Hill' family not happy

The murder trial for the man accused of killing Minneapolis North High School star student-athlete Deshaun Hill Jr. is on hold through the weekend.

And Hill’s family is not happy about the delay.

"I have anxiety. I am mentally messed up," explained Tuesday Sheppard, Deshaun’s mother. "I prepared myself for court today to come here to be the voice for my son. And here we go again."

Opening statements were scheduled to begin Friday morning in a Hennepin County District courtroom. But attorneys for the defendant, Cody Fohrenkam said the 30-year-old was suffering from anxiety, and not in the right frame of mind to participate in his own defense.

Fohrenkam’s second-degree murder trial was originally scheduled to begin in November, but that was delayed a couple of months over evidentiary concerns from the defense. The Hills are upset their quest for justice has now been put on hold again.

"I got anxiety attacks," Sheppard said. "I am losing my mind. Yeah, we are struggling."

This week, the court seated a jury of 12 plus three alternates, with opening statements set for Friday morning. In fact, the entire jury was ready to go Friday, but they were sent home with orders to stay away from any news about the case over the weekend. 

Fohrenkam’s public defender Lisa Skrzeczkoski asked for the continuance, explaining their client was not in a good place mentally.

Skrzeczkoski singled out several issues including recent rulings going against him and his feelings of isolation in jailhouse segregation where he is unable to make family phone calls.

"Is he going to keep doing it," asked Sheppard rhetorically. "Is he going to do it on Monday and Tuesday? What’s he talking about, that he can't talk to his family? I can't talk to my son. He's gone."

Judge Julie Allyn granted the request to delay the start of trial until Monday morning, explaining she was concerned about a possible mistrial or creating an issue for appeal should she have proceeded with the case on Friday.