SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Estevan Montoya, the teen convicted of killing high school basketball star J.B. White, was sentenced to life in prison. Montoya shot and killed White, just a week before White was set to play basketball with the University of New Mexico.
Montoya was convicted in May of first-degree murder in White’s death. Montoya and White got into a fight at a house party near Santa Fe two years ago when Montoya pulled out a gun and shot the basketball star.
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A cousin who spoke in court explained White had a traumatic childhood without a dad but persevered through it. “J.B. could have taken a very different path. He could have taken the same path as the human who took his life. Instead, he kept smiling and persevering.”
Before the judge handed down the sentence, Montoya’s lawyers asked that he be given a chance since he was only 16 at the time of the shooting. Montoya did show some remorse and took responsibility for his actions. “I’m extremely sorry for all the pain and suffering that I’ve brought upon J.B’s family and friends including my own,” said Montoya.
The judge handed down a life sentence for White’s murder and tacked on some time for Montoya having a gun and being underage. He will be transported to the state’s correction department in Los Lunas. Montoya is eligible for parole after 30 years, he also has a right to appeal his sentence.