UNM student Jonathan Smith takes plea deal for involvement in Mike Peake attack

Jason Groves
Las Cruces Sun-News
Jonathan Smith

One of the suspects involved in an attack on New Mexico State basketball player Mike Peake in November has pleaded guilty for his involvement.

University of New Mexico student Jonathan Smith pleaded guilty to felony charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated battery with great bodily harm and tampering with evidence as part of a plea deal. Smith could face up to three years in prison.

Smith was released on Nov. 23 to live with his mother in Texas until trial. According to a spokesperson from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney's Office in Bernalillo Count, the pleading paperwork is sealed. No further details are known as to when Smith might be sentenced.

Police believe Smith conspired with fellow UNM students Eli-Sha Upshaw, Brandon Travis and Mya Hill to lure Peake to the UNM campus on Nov. 19 in retaliation for a fight involving Peake and Travis at the Oct. 15 football game between New Mexico and New Mexico State at Aggie Memorial Stadium.

Hill, a 17-year-old college student, is accused of luring Peake to campus in the early hours of Nov. 19. About 3 a.m., surveillance cameras in the parking lot of the Coronado Hall complex, show Peake and Hill walking outside the dormitory. Travis, Upshaw and Smith approached them from behind. Travis pointed a gun at Peake, and Upshaw hit Peake once in the right leg with a baseball bat and again in the abdomen, according to police documents, before Peake started to run.

Travis followed Peake with a gun pointed at him while Peake took out his own gun and the two began shooting at one another. Police say Travis fired "several times" and Peake fired back. Travis, 19, was killed in the shootout and Peake, 21, was shot in the leg.

Travis died at the scene. Upshaw and Hill have been charged with multiple crimes. On Jan. 9, Upshaw pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated battery, conspiracy and tampering with evidence. Upshaw was released to live with his mother in Maryland and has a Feb. 1 scheduling conference scheduled. 

Peake has not been charged with a crime.

Jason Groves can be reached at 575-541-5459 or Follow him on Twitter @jpgroves.

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