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.
Mekhi Speed was charged in the Jan. 10 shooting death of Otis Elder. A judge determined that Speed, who turned 18 in March, will be charged as an adult.
During the hearing, Speed said he was attempting to steal drugs from Elder that night, but “everything happened fast” and a struggle lead to a shooting. Speed said he didn’t remember being the one to pull the trigger. He fled the scene with his accomplices, and later learned that Elder died.
Speed was charged with two counts of second-degree murder, and pleaded guilty to one of the counts. The court dropped the other, though Elder’s family objected to the arrangement. Speed will be sentenced on July 8.
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.