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Murderer of Deshaun Hill, Jr. sentenced to 38 years in prison

Updated: Apr 17

Mugshot of Cody Fohrenkam, who was sentenced to 38 years in prison for the murder of Deshaun Hill, Jr. via Hennepin County Attorney's Office.

The murderer of 15-year-old Deshaun Hill, Jr. was sentenced to 38 years behind bars on Tuesday.

A jury convicted Cody Fohrenkam last month of second-degree intentional murder after only an hour of deliberations. He was given the highest sentence possible under MInnesota state law.

“As a community, we must take this violence seriously, and it must spur us to action,” Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty said in a press conference after the verdict was reached.

“You have endured a year of sadness and loss,” Moriarty said to Hill’s family. “Nothing will bring Deshaun back, but I hope you find some level of comfort in this verdict.”

Fohrenkam shot Hill in the back of the head in February of last year, after a brief altercation on a public sidewalk around noon, as students at North High had been released early to attend a protest at Minneapolis City Hall.

“The family has stood behind their son, through and through,” the Hill family’s attorney William Walker said after the verdict was reached. “Every single day, each and every one of these people have thought about and cried about D. Hill, Jr.”

Hill’s family has called for the state to open an investigation into North High Principal Mauri Friestleben for letting students out early to protest. Walker has said that Friestleben’s actions lead directly to Hill’s death.

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