MINNEAPOLIS — Editor's Note: The video above originally aired on KARE 11 on April 11, 2022.
The 18-year-old charged in connection to the shooting death of 38-year-old Otis Elder in January has agreed to a plea deal with the state.
According to the Ramsey County attorney's office, Mekhi Speed agreed to be certified in adult court and will plead guilty to second-degree murder without intent for Elder's death. In exchange, the state will drop a second charge previously filed against Speed – second-degree murder with intent.
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.
The two murder charges were filed against Speed in a juvenile petition in February, who was 17 at the time, after he was arrested in Winona.
Speed also agreed to a guideline prison sentence, which will be determined by a judge. The plea is slated to be filed on Friday, May 13 with sentencing in about 60 days.
Elder was found shot and killed in the Midway area of St. Paul back on Jan. 10, 2022. A juvenile petition explains that a Mercedes-Benz seen fleeing from the scene of Otis' death was later found to be stolen, and linked to multiple crimes.
The Mercedes was recovered from a parking ramp in Minneapolis. According to court documents, investigators used MnDOT cameras to track that vehicle in the moments after the fatal St. Paul shooting, and traced it to the Bolero Flats apartment complex in downtown Minneapolis. A witness at the apartments identified Mekhi Speed, who matched the description of one of those at the shooting scene, as a resident who lived in the complex with his mother in one apartment but often visited his brother in another unit on the seventh floor.
On Feb. 2, SWAT officers with the Minneapolis Police Department entered an apartment at Bolero Flats to execute a no-knock warrant on behalf of St. Paul Police. Speed was the subject of that warrant, but police ended up fatally shooting and killing 22-year-old Locke, who was sleeping on the couch.
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 be executed without first knocking.
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