Former NMSU basketball player Mike Peake not charged in fatal shooting of Brandon Travis
LAS CRUCES ―Former New Mexico State basketball player Mike Peake will not be charged with a crime for his involvment in a fatal shooting on the University of New Mexico campus in November of last year.
“The decision to not charge Mike Peake was made by the prior administration based on all the facts and evidence presented to them. Nothing has changed, so we’re honoring that decision," a spokesperson from the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office said.
"It was determined Peake acted in self-defense."
Fomer players Issa Muhammad, Marchelus "Chi Chi" Avery and Anthony Roy, as well as the response following the shooting by NMSU coaches was also being investigated, but the District Attorney’s Office will not charge anyone affiliated with NMSU.
"After reviewing materials and evidence provided from the investigation of the shooting incident on the campus of the University of New Mexico last November, we have determined we will not proceed with charges against any New Mexico State basketball coaches or players at this time," Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Nancy Laflin said in a statement.
"While their lack of cooperation after the shooting certainly did not help to further the investigation, this behavior does not appear to meet the legal standard of criminal obstruction or tampering with evidence. Should any new information surface that could impact this decision, we may reconsider."
More:A look back at the deadly shooting at UNM: Timeline of events
According to police, Mya Hill, a then 17-year-old college student, lured Peake to campus in the early hours of Nov. 19, while the Aggies were in Albuquerque to play rival UNM. At about 3 a.m. surveillance cameras in the parking lot of the Coronado Hall complex show Peake and Hill walking outside the dormitory. UNM students Brandon Travis, Elisha Upshaw and Jonathan 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.
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 in January. Smith could face up to three years in prison.
Peake was indefinitely suspended from the basketball team in December and entered the transfer portal.
NM State and police have confirmed that Peake took a gun on a team bus to Albuquerque, breaking university policy, and carried a gun on the UNM campus. Peake and Travis were also involved with a fight at Aggie Memorial Stadium in October that police have described as the genesis of the attack on the UNM campus.
The DAs Office was investigating the involvement of former NMSU players Issa Muhammad, Marchelus "Chi Chi" Avery and Anthony Roy, as well as the response of the NMSU coaches. Muhammad, Avery and Roy were seen on surveillance video arriving at the scene. Police believe the men helped Peake put his gun and his tablet in the Camaro's trunk and then drive off before police arrived.
The items were later recovered by law enforcement.
Jason Groves can be reached at 575-541-5459 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jpgroves.