A sentence of more than 16 years was handed down on Monday to a teenager whose fatal shooting of a man in St. Paul prompted a police raid in Minneapolis, where the teenager’s cousin, Amir Locke, 22, was shot dead by the police.
Mekhi C. Speed, 18, was sentenced in Ramsey County District Court after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in connection with the January 10 death of Otis R. Elder, 38.
Elder was shot in the back during an alleged drug deal outside a music recording studio in the 500 block of N. Prior Avenue. He died about 30 minutes later at Regions Hospital.
Considering the time served in prison since his arrest, Speed is expected to serve just over 10 years in prison and the balance on probation. Speed was 17 at the time of the shooting and was charged in adult court.
Elder’s murder by Speed was the underlying case behind a no-knock warrant and predawn raid by Minneapolis police on February 2, when Locke was shot in an apartment in the downtown.
The state attorney general’s office ruled in April that police were justified in shooting Locke, who showed a gun as he emerged from under a blanket seconds after police burst in.
Speed lived in another unit of the Bolero Flats Apartment Homes at 1117 S. Marquette Av., but had access to the apartment that was raided as part of the investigation into Elder’s death. Locke was not the target of the investigation.
As the investigation progressed, St. Paul police filed standard requests for search warrant affidavits for three Bolero Flats apartments. Detectives were forced to resubmit the requests after the Minneapolis Police Department insisted on a no-knock entry as part of its pursuit of Speed.
At the time of Elder’s murder, court records showed Speed was on supervised probation in Hennepin County for shooting a teenager in the leg outside a Brooklyn Park gas station in September 2020.