September 27, 2016 — Zeke Fortenberry (JD ’07), Assistant District Attorney at Collin County in Dallas, Texas, recently secured a conviction in case of the 2014 kidnapping of Christina Morris. The matter was considered challenging to prosecute due to the fact that the victim has never been located. A Collin County jury found Enrique Arochi guilty of aggravated kidnapping after 17 hours of deliberation. Arochi faces up to life in prison. Watch closing arguments here (dallasnews.com).
Fortenberry urged the jury to remember three things: the video surveillance showing Morris and Arochi together, the cellphone records of where they were and the DNA of Morris found in the trunk of Arochi’s Camaro. He told them everything in the case will have to align with those facts. “We’re here to prove aggravated kidnapping,” Fortenberry said. “Each piece of evidence points to one person, and that’s the defendant.”
Prosecutor Zeke Fortenberry told jurors who deliberated for 17 hours before reaching a verdict that they didn’t have to agree on what happened to Morris to determine who abducted her. “Where is Christina Morris? We don’t know,” he said. “Imagine how difficult it is when you can’t say goodbye? When you can’t have a funeral because you don’t know where her body is?” “There’s only one reasonable explanation to all the facts: that the defendant is responsible for the disappearance of Christina Morris.” Fortenberry added: “DNA evidence is what puts Morris in that trunk.”
Likely, one of the most vivid moments during closing arguments came during the very end of the state’s argument. Fortenberry picked up a photo of Morris and showed the jury. “[Arochi] walked away with scrapes and bruises,” he said. “[Morris] was never found again.” Watch footage here.