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Thursday, March 30, 2023

No Justice, Says Family, in 16-year Murder Sentence for Teen

On Monday, Otis Elder’s family paid a visit to his grave after learning that a teenager had been given a 16-year term for his murder in St. Paul.

Afterward, Shandra McKinley-Lewis stated, “I just feel like my kid received no justice.

According to Paul Sellers, Mekhi Speed, 18, apologized to Elder’s family in court.

Sellers stated that “he accepted responsibility for his acts.” He is undoubtedly struggling with a great deal of guilt—some of it unjustified—in connection with the passing of his cousin.

Amir Locke, Speed’s cousin, was fatally shot by a Minneapolis cop in February as police executed a “no knock” search warrant as part of the homicide investigation. The warrants did not list Locke, who is 22 years old.

On January 10 at at 9:30 p.m., Elder, 38, was shot and died in the 500 block of North Prior Avenue in St. Paul, between University Avenue and Interstate 94.

Speed, who was 17 at the time, was first accused in juvenile court in February. The case was then transferred to adult court when the Ramsey County attorney’s office stated that they intended to have him be tried as an adult.

Speed admitted that he and another person had approached a parked car when he entered his guilty plea to aiding and abetting second-degree unintended death in the course of an armed robbery in May. Speed said they went to get marijuana but opted to consume it instead.

Speed admitted to taking Percocet and booze that day. He admitted having a firearm and being aware of the gunshot, but he denied having shot Elder or pulled the trigger.

According to Sellers, Speed stated in court on Monday, “I didn’t do what you believe I did.”

McKinley-Lewis said that she left court unresolved. She claimed that after the sentencing, Locke’s father spoke with her and Speed’s mother reached out to shake her hand.

I grasped her hand because I think my kid is in paradise, and I know I can’t get there unless I forgive (Speed),” she added.

A 16-year-old is also accused of helping to commit murder in the killing of Elder, and his case is still pending.

According Minnesota statutory guidelines and given Speed’s previous history, Ramsey County Judge Timothy Mulrooney sentenced Speed to 16 years and 3 months in prison. Speed has 186 days of service credit. In Minnesota, prisoners typically serve two thirds of their sentence behind bars and the last third under supervision.

According to court documents, Speed was on supervised probation when Elder was slain. Speed had pleaded guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon for shooting a man in Brooklyn Park in September 2020.

One of Elder’s sisters, Motika Elder, claimed to have admitted to Speed in court that he had broken her heart.

Motika Elder stated that Otis was also a parent and said, “I can never, ever see my brother again, while (Speed) is talking about helping his son achieve this and that. A smack in the face, to quote. My brother was actually being robbed for his life.

Police in St. Paul identified Speed as a suspect after conducting an investigation. Police executed search warrants at his apartment complex in downtown Minneapolis on February 2.

When police executed a no-knock warrant, Locke was lying on a couch at Speed’s brother’s girlfriend’s apartment when a Minneapolis cop shot him. According to the criminal complaint, Speed shared a flat with his mother but had access to the other residence.

Although Locke’s family claims the videotape reveals he was startled awake, prosecutors decided not to prosecute the officer because they claimed body camera evidence showed Locke waving a pistol.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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