SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A jury has reached a verdict in the murder trial of Estevan Montoya Tuesday afternoon. The jury found Montoya guilty on all counts, including first-degree murder, in the August 2020 death of JB White. Prosecutors say Montoya shot and killed White during a fight at a house party in Santa Fe.
Prosecutors say as the argument broke out, White tried to punch Montoya but missed. They say Montoya then pulled out a gun and shot White. Montoya’s attorneys claimed it was self-defense, but a jury disagreed.
Montoya was also found guilty of tampering with evidence, unlawful possession of a handgun by a minor, and negligent use of a deadly weapon. The trial began on May 4, closing arguments began Monday and jurors began deliberating that afternoon. Jurors took about a day to reach its verdict.
Montoya faces a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years. Judge Glenn Ellington set a sentencing date for June 22. 2022 at 2 p.m.
A basketball standout for Santa Fe High School, White was just months away from beginning his college basketball career as a UNM Lobo. A 6’8″ forward, White was a rising star, listed as a Top-100 prospect by Rivals.com.
White led Santa Fe to the Class 5A quarterfinals during the 2019-2020 season. He averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.
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