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Mekhi Speed sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for murder of Otis Elder

The investigation into Elder's death prompted the no-knock warrant that ended with police shooting and killing Amir Locke in Minneapolis.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Editor's note: The video above first aired on KARE 11 on May 13, 2022.

The 18-year-old whose crime created a chain of events that led to the fatal shooting of Amir Locke by Minneapolis police was sentenced to 195 months, or 16 years and three months, in prison on Monday for the murder of Otis Elder.

Mekhi Speed was 17 years old when he admittedly shot and killed Elder while making a drug deal in St. Paul on the night of Jan. 10, 2022.

The scene on Monday in the courtroom was tense from the start between Elder's family and Speed's friends and family, according to KARE 11 reporter Lou Raguse. Tensions erupted when Speed told the judge, "I’m not going to sit here and say I murdered this man." Arguing between the two groups spilled out of the courtroom and into the hallway and the ground floor of the Ramsey County Courthouse.

As part of a deal announced in May, Speed pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder without intent while committing a crime. In exchange, a second-degree murder with intent charge was dropped, and prosecutors agreed that Speed will be sentenced within the state-recommended guidelines with no upward departure.

Speed's guilty plea also officially moved him into the adult correctional system.

Sentencing began at 1:30 p.m. Monday and the decision was announced only a couple of hours later.

RELATED: Cousin of Amir Locke pleads guilty in murder of St. Paul man

Otis Elder's homicide was the case that prompted Minneapolis police to execute a no-knock warrant at an apartment building in downtown Minneapolis in February, which ended with police shooting and killing 22-year-old Amir Locke.

Speed, the target of that search warrant, was Locke's cousin.

That search warrant was not originally supposed to be a “no-knock” warrant, law enforcement sources told KARE 11 investigative reporter A.J. Lagoe.

St. Paul police originally did not request a no-knock warrant from a judge, but when Minneapolis police were asked to execute the warrant, MPD insisted the warrant be changed to authorize it to be executed without first knocking.

In April, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and Attorney General Keith Ellison announced that no criminal charges would be filed against the officers involved in Locke's shooting.

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