UPDATE: $1.5 million cash bond set for teen charged in fatal Fox River Mall shooting

You can watch the full court hearing at the bottom of this article
Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 9:07 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 8, 2021 at 2:55 PM CST
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OUTAGAMIE COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - The teenager wanted in connection with the deadly shooting at the Fox River Mall made his first appearance in Outagamie County court Monday afternoon.

17-year-old Dezman Ellis is charged with First Degree Intentional Homicide and First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, and on Monday, a judge has set his cash bail bond at $1.5 million.

During Ellis’ court appearance, his attorneys argued he is a senior at Oshkosh North, and works at an Oshkosh area restaurant, and has no prior adult criminal history.

However, the state argued Ellis, despite his age, is a flight risk due to fleeing the state after the shooting, and also referenced the need for assistance from the federal government. The District Attorney also referenced the significant charges Ellis is facing, and requested a significant cash bond.

Ellis’ attorneys said they believed a $50,000 cash bond would be appropriate, and stated Ellis leaving the state wasn’t a sophisticated attempt to hide from authorities since he was staying with family members.

The mother, Tanya Lopez, of 19-year-old Jovanni Frausto, who was killed during the shooting, spoke during Monday’s hearing. She said, “He needs to sit in there, my son can’t come home I can never see my son again. I think he should be sitting there and not getting out, not the daylight at all, not at all. I’m planning my son’s funeral right now. There should be no bond.”

Due to high emotions, both of Frausto’s parents eventually had to be muted.

Action 2 News has learned some new information about where US Marshals say 17-year-old Ellis fled to after leaving the Grand Chute area.

The United States Marshal Service requested a federal arrest warrant to help in the finding and arresting of Ellis. This was necessary when they believed he crossed state lines and was somewhere in Iowa.

According to a federal arrest warrant request filed by the US Marshal Service, Ellis and his girlfriend, as well as Ellis’ brother and his brother’s girlfriend checked into a Super 8 motel in Platteville on January 31st.

Grand Chute Police learned from Ellis’ brother that the four of them left the area with no plan on where to go. He went on to say the four of them stopped at the Super 8 motel in Platteville. That’s where Ellis checked into the hotel and his brother and his girlfriend left and drove back to the Fox Valley area after midnight. Ellis’ brother says Ellis and his girlfriend were left in the room with no transportation and no other places to go.

The Ellis brothers are known to have family and associates in Ames, Iowa. Based on the direction of travel, police believe Ellis was headed to Ames or he was having someone from Ames, Iowa traveling to Platteville to pick him and his girlfriend up at the motel.

The US Marshal Service requested a complaint and arrest warrant so that federal authorities could assist in location and apprehension of Dezman Ellis.

Ellis was eventually arrested on February 4th in Des Moines, Iowa, On Friday, Ellis was extradited to Outagamie County and booked into the Outagamie County Jail.

Police say on January 31, Ellis shot and killed Frausto in the Fox River Mall food court during an argument over a girl.

In addition to the cash bond, the judge said Ellis isn’t to have contact with the alleged victims or witnesses as requested by the state. He also isn’t to use or possess dangerous weapons, maintain absolute sobriety, and if he is released from jail, can not leave the state of Wisconsin.


Jovanni Frausto’s girlfriend told investigators that they went to the mall to eat at about 2:45 p.m. Jovanni and his girlfriend were accompanied by the girl’s niece. They were walking around when they came across a group of people they knew--one of them Dezman Ellis.

The girlfriend said Jovanni and Dezman “started to exchange words.”

Jovanni’s girlfriend told police that their argument was over a girl who was in Dezman’s group. About three months ago, Jovanni had been talking to the girl at the center of the dispute. Jovanni’s girlfriend said the girl had previously dated Dezman Ellis, but they were broken up when Jovanni was talking with her.

Jovanni’s current girlfriend says during the argument at the mall, Dezman threatened Jovanni, saying, “I will shoot this place up, I will kill you.” She says Dezman Ellis started flashing a gun. She left the area with her niece and Jovanni took off running.

“Jovanni ran straight and Dezman was chasing him with the gun,” says Jovanni’s girlfriend. She said Jovanni was not armed.

A witness in Dezman Ellis’ group said Dezman had a black handgun. She heard two shots. She saw Jovanni Frausto hold his chest, fall into a table, and then to the ground.

Dezman’s friend said their group ran out of the mall and drove away. She told police she dropped Dezman off at his apartment in the 700 block of Woodland Ave in Oshkosh.

Another member of the group confirmed to police that Dezman had a gun and shot it. She stated that she believed Ellis still had the gun.

Survivor Colt Lemmers told police that he had spotted a friend near the Panda Express in the mall when he heard someone say “drop the gun.” He turned around and heard a shot. After the first shot, he felt something hit his hip. He described the pain as “feeling like a bee sting.” That’s when he realized he had been shot.

Police found two 9mm spent shell casings in the food court.

A witness later told police that he saw Ellis and his brother loading a blue Dodge Avenger with clothing and other items at an apartment building on Woodland Ave in Oshkosh. Police later found Ellis’ car outside a duplex in the 200 block of W. 20th Ave, but Ellis had fled.

Jovanni Frausto suffered a wound to his chest and an exit wound through the back. He wat taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy determined the cause of death to be two gunshot wounds.

Police later spoke with Dezman Ellis’ brother, who stated that Dezman told him that he shot someone at the mall.

Jovanni’s girlfriend said they had not planned to meet with Dezman in the mall that day and it was a random occurrence.

The case remains under investigation, and there’s no word yet if others will face charges.

“That investigation is still ongoing,” said Officer Travis Waas. “At this time, the only charges that I’m aware of are the current charges for Mr. Ellis.”

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