The teenage cousin of Amir Locke that was linked to a murder that led Minneapolis police to conduct a no-knock search warrant, where Locke was fatally shot, pleaded guilty Friday, AP News reported.
Mekhi Camden Speed, now 18, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting one count of second-degree unintentional murder while committing a felony. In exchange, a count of intentional second-degree murder will be dismissed.
On Jan. 10, Otis Elder, 38, was found shot and laying in the street in what police believe was an apparent robbery. Drugs and money were found in Elder’s SUV, according to court documents.
The teen told the court he had a handgun when he and others tried to rob Elder of drugs in St. Paul. Speed said he stood outside Elder’s vehicle and another person got in Elder’s passenger seat. Speed said there was a struggle, and a shot was fired, but he has no memory of pulling the trigger. He said he doesn’t know if his accomplice was armed.
Speed entered his plea via video from the Juvenile Detention Center. Ramsey County Judge Timothy Mulrooney found there was factual basis to support the guilty plea, which will be finalized at sentencing.
According to AP News, Speed said he was using alcohol, Percocet and marijuana at the time of Otis’ killing and he now is suffering from symptoms of PTSD. In pleading guilty, he agreed with his attorney, Paul Sellers, that by aiding and abetting the crime which resulted in Otis’ death, he is still criminally liable.
At the time of the crime, Speed was 17 and initially charged as a juvenile but his case was moved into adult court. He will be transferred to the Department of Corrections while he awaits sentencing, set for July 8.
Once St. Paul police identified Speed as a suspect a no-knock warrant was issued for his address. Locke was not listed on the warrant but was present during the raid. In the wee hours of the morning on Feb. 2, police body camera footage revealed 22-year-old Locke was startled out of his sleep when he reached for the barrel of his firearm, before three shots were fired into him.
Despite several complaints of conduct against the officer identified as shooter in Locke’s death, in April 2022, Minnesota prosecutors declined to file charges against the officer.
The time Speed could face is unclear, because of his prior criminal history. A person with no criminal record would face anywhere from 10 years and nine months in prison to 15 years in prison. Speed has a juvenile record, which includes a September 2020 incident in which he shot a man in the thigh.