Jury Convicts Man Of Murder After Less Than Hour Of Deliberation. Judge Reverses Decision

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Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Renee Worke pronounced Tuesday that a jury verdict over the 2022 murder of a student-athlete was null and void.

The jury took less than an hour in 2023 to find 31-year-old Cody Fohrenkam guilty of second-degree murder of 15-year-old Deshaun Hill, CBS News reported. Worke ruled that a new trial should be conducted given that certain incriminating statements Fohrenkam made were illegally collected.

Fohrenkam’s utterances allegedly concerned conflicting statements about his whereabouts during the fatal shooting of Hill, the judge’s ruling observes.

“[T]he state has failed to satisfy its burden of showing that Fohrenkam’s continued detention was lawful.” Because of this, the “statements must be suppressed as the product of an unlawful seizure,” the court document reads. 

The decision was not universally welcomed.

“We are deeply disappointed in this decision and are reviewing our options to ensure justice and accountability in this case,” the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said in part, CBS News reported.

The Hill family attorney said that he would meet with prosecutors Friday to discuss whether they were going to pursue another trial or challenge the judge’s decision, the outlet reported.

A judge had previously sentenced Fohrenkam to nearly 39 years in jail, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Judge Orders Travis Scott To Face Jury Trial In Astroworld Case)

A gunman fatally shot Hill while he was walking to a bus stop after being released early from his high school. The school encouraged its students to attend a rally protesting the fatal police shooting of Amir Locke, according to CBS News.

Police shot Locke during a no-knock warrant in 2022, CNN reported. Prosecutors didn’t press charges after they learned that Locke had raised a handgun at a police officer.