Jury finds Montoya guilty of first-degree murder in JB White's death




  • In US
  • 2022-05-17 23:35:00Z
  • By The Santa Fe New Mexican

May 17-A Santa Fe jury has convicted Estevan Montoya of first-degree murder in the 2020 shooting death of noted high school athlete Fedonta "JB" White.

Montoya, then 16, shot White, 18, at a house party in Chupadero in August 2020 in front of numerous witnesses.

Following a two-week trial, the panel of eight men and four women received the case around 4 p.m. Monday and deliberated for about an hour before adjourning and returning Tuesday morning. They considered the case four more hours before reaching a verdict.

White's supporters wept when state District Judge T. Glenn Ellington read the verdict.

Montoya took the stand in his own defense Monday, saying he shot White in self-defense after he and White exchanged words and then White came at him, swinging.

Prosecutors argued Montoya went to the party armed and lured White into a fistfight before shooting him point blank and running away.

But Ellington determined there wasn't enough evidence of self-defense presented at the trial to give the jury the option of finding Montoya had committed a justifiable homicide based on self-defense.

Instead, the judge told jurors they had the option of finding Montoya guilty or not guilty of first-degree premeditated murder, depraved-mind murder or a lesser offense of second-degree murder.

The jurors also convicted Montoya of counts of tampering with evidence, unlawful carrying of a handgun and negligent use of a deadly weapon, based on allegations he disposed of the murder weapon - which was never found - and the clothing he wore the night of the shooting.

This is a developing story. Check back for more details.

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