Mekhi Speed, Cousin Of Amir Locke, Pleads Guilty To Murder Of Otis Elder – WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The teenager accused of murdering a man in St. Paul in January – and whose investigation led to the shooting of Amir Locke during a no-knock raid in downtown Minneapolis – pleaded guilty on Friday.

Speed appeared in court virtually Friday. The 18-year-old who was recently certified as an adult pleaded guilty to second degree unintentional felony murder.

Otis Elder was the victim.

“He was a was a loving brother, a loving father, friend. A protector,” sister Motika Elder said.

In court, Speed admitted to bringing a gun to buy marijuana from Elder in St. Paul in January. He said at some point the plan changed, and his intention was to take the drugs from Elder.

Speed says there was a struggle in the vehicle and “everything happened fast.” He agreed he or his accomplice fired a shot, and said he doesn’t remember pulling the trigger. Speed and an accomplice fled the scene, and later learned Elder died.

Motika Elder watched the virtual hearing.

“It was heartbreaking because he’s pleading guilty but he’s saying that he don’t know who shot my brother, like it all don’t make sense,” Motika Elder said.

Under the plea, the basic range for the offense is 10 to 15 years, but that doesn’t take history into account. Elder’s family objected to the deal, and wanted Speed to face a tougher punishment.

“I feel like my brother’s life was taken for nothing. I feel like he has no remorse,” Motika Elder said.

The Ramsey County attorney’s office told WCCO:

We fully respect the grief expressed by the family at the loss of their loved one and understand their request for a longer sentence. Our office advised the family of the proposed plea agreement and considered their input carefully. As with all cases, we are obligated to consider additional factors in making any offer and, in our role as a minister of justice, our decisions are also based on the law which includes all the facts and circumstances. The victim’s family will have an opportunity to express their wishes directly to the judge at the sentencing hearing. The prosecution will seek the maxim sentence under the sentencing guidelines grid allowed for 2nd degree unintentional murder and Mr. Speed’s criminal history score.

Mr. Speed admitted to participating in the armed robbery of Mr. Elder, resulting in his death. Sentencing hearing is set for July 8.

WCCO contacted the defense attorney, who had no comment. Speed will be sentenced in Ramsey County on July 8th.

The investigation into Elder’s shooting led police to the Bolero Flats in downtown Minneapolis, where on Feb. 2, officers executed three search warrants. At Speed’s brother’s girlfriend’s apartment, police unlocked the door and entered the apartment, announcing their presence as they crossed the threshold.

Locke, who was Speed’s cousin and not involved in the investigation, was sleeping on the couch wrapped in a blanket. He raised his gun, and Officer Mark Hanneman fatally shot him. The shooting sparked protests across the city and calls for change amid the death of another Black man at the hands of Minneapolis police. Hanneman will not face charges, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced last month.

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