A teenager has agreed to plead guilty to the fatal shooting of a man in St. Paul that prompted a police raid in Minneapolis, where the teen's 22-year-old cousin, Amir Locke, was shot to death by police, prosecutors said Wednesday.
The Ramsey County Attorney's Office said Mekhi C. Speed of Minneapolis, who since the St. Paul shooting has turned 18, is pleading guilty as an adult in District Court to one of two second-degree murder counts and awaits sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled.
Speed's attorney, Paul Sellers, said his client has yet to decide whether to accept the plea offer, but "there's a pretty good chance we will end up that way."
Speed will appear in court on Friday, where he is expected to agree to aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
"Mr. Speed's case is proceeding in adult court towards a resolution that will involve a plea to aiding and abetting robbery resulting in death," Sellers said.
The anticipated plea does not include an agreement to the length of his sentence. The case in adult court has yet to be assigned to a judge. In the meantime, Speed remains jailed without bail.
Speed's killing of Otis R. Elder, 38, on Jan. 10 is 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.
The sequence of events began Jan. 10 when officers answered a 911 call in St. Paul's Hamline-Midway neighborhood and found Elder in the street wounded in the back outside a music recording studio in the 500 block of N. Prior Avenue. He died about 30 minutes later at Regions Hospital.
A person speaking with Elder on the phone just before he was shot told police that "it sounded like Elder was conducting a drug transaction [and] the phone call then abruptly ended," according to the charges against Speed.
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 (MPD) insisted on a no-knock entry as part of their pursuit of Speed.
Police began looking for Speed on Jan. 24 and found him Feb. 6about 120 miles south of Minneapolis in Winona, Minn.
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.