UNM student Eli-Sha Upshaw enters not guilty plea for alleged role in Nov. 19 shooting in Albuquerque

Jason Groves
Las Cruces Sun-News
New Mexico State Police interview UNM student Eli-sha Upshaw on campus Nov. 19, 2022.

University of New Mexico student Eli-Sha Upshaw pleaded not guilty on Monday in Second Judicial District Court for his alleged role in a Nov. 19 shooting on the UNM campus that also involved New Mexico State basketball player Mike Peake.

Upshaw was formally indicted on Jan. 3 by a Grand Jury. He has a Feb. 1 scheduling conference scheduled.

Upshaw was arrested and charged on two counts of aggravated battery, conspiracy and tampering with evidence for his alleged involvement of the plot with three other UNM students that lured Peake to the UNM campus in the early morning hours of Nov. 19.

Police charge UNM student in connection to Nov. 19 shooting in Albuquerque

Upshaw was released from jail to live with his mother in Maryland and among the conditions of release, he is not allowed to possess any firearms or dangerous weapons and avoid all contact with the alleged victim, co-defendants or other witnesses.

Police believe Upshaw conspired with fellow UNM students Brandon Travis, Mya Hill and Jonathan Smith to lure Peake to the UNM campus on Nov. 19 in retaliation for a fight that involved 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. According to the complaint, Travis, Upshaw and Smith approach them from behind. Travis points a gun at Peake, and Upshaw hits Peake once in the right leg with a baseball bat and again in the abdomen before Peake started to run.

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

Travis died at the scene. Smith and Hill have been charged with multiple crimes. Smith was released on Nov. 23 to live with his mother in Texas until trial.

Peake has not been charged with a crime.

Upshaw tells investigators that he didn't know about the shooting until after it happened and that he was in his dorm room with two females at the time of the shootout.

A state police investigator tells Upshaw, "Kind of what we are getting at is we know two other people were with (Travis) and we are trying to find out who those people are. … We are going to find out who they are at some point. … If you were with (Travis) last night when this went down, that is something we need to know."