Minnesota man found not guilty of sister’s murder by reason of mental illness

David Michael Otey
David Michael Otey

BRAINERD, Minn. — A Crow Wing County District court judge ruled 38-year-old David Michael Otey, who stabbed his sister to death at her Crosby workplace in January 2018, is not guilty by reason of mental illness.

Judge Kristine DeMay filed her order with the Brainerd court system Friday, March 15.

Otey, of Cambridge, was indicted in February of 2018 by a Crow Wing County grand jury in Brainerd for first-degree murder with premeditation, which carries a penalty of life in prison. He also was indicted on second-degree intentional murder, which has a 40-year prison sentence. Otey was initially charged Jan. 16, 2018 — three days after the incident — with felony second-degree intentional murder without premeditation in the death of his sister, Danyele Marie Johnson of Ironton.

Earlier this month, Otey pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness and said he didn’t know what he was doing at the time of the crime.

DeMay’s review of the case found the prosecutor proved beyond a reasonable doubt Otey committed first-degree murder with premeditation. However, in reviewing Otey’s defense of mental illness or deficiency, she found him not guilty by reason of mental illness.