A sentence topping 16 years was imposed Monday on a teenager whose fatal shooting of a man in St. Paul prompted a police raid in Minneapolis, where the teen's 22-year-old cousin, Amir Locke, was shot to death by police.
Mekhi C. Speed, 18, was sentenced in Ramsey County District Court after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in connection with the death of Otis R. Elder, 38, on Jan. 10.
Elder was shot in the back during a suspected drug transaction outside a music recording studio in the 500 block of N. Prior Avenue. He died about 30 minutes later at Regions Hospital.
With credit for time in jail since his arrest, Speed is expected to serve slightly more than 10 years in prison and the balance on supervised release. Speed was 17 years old at the time of the shooting and was prosecuted in adult court.
Speed's killing of Elder was the underlying case behind a no-knock warrant and predawn Minneapolis police raid on Feb. 2, when Locke was shot inside a downtown apartment.
The state Attorney General's Office ruled in April that police were justified in shooting Locke, who displayed a gun as he emerged from under a blanket seconds after police burst in.
Speed was living in a different 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 a target of the investigation.
As the investigation progressed, St. Paul police filed standard applications 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 killing, 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.