NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Estevan Montoya, the teen who killed high school basketball star J.B. White, is appealing his conviction. Montoya was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for killing White at a house party near Santa Fe in August 2020.
Montoya shot and killed White during a fight at a house party near Santa Fe. Prosecutors said as the argument broke out, White tried to punch Montoya but missed. They said 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. Montoya was sentenced to life in prison, he is eligible for parole after 30 years.
In Montoya’s appeal, his attorneys are citing what they say are irregularities in the trial. They argue Montoya did not receive a fair trial because of the denial of a change of venue, not allowing the defense’s expert to testify about the trajectory of the bullet that killed White and not allowing a jury instruction on self-defense. They also argue the jury should have had the option for a lesser offense of voluntary manslaughter.