Teen found guilty of first-degree murder in JB White’s death

SANTA FE, N.M. — A teenager has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of JB White, a Santa Fe High basketball standout and future Lobo.

Closing arguments were heard Monday in the trial of 18-year-old Estevan Montoya. He was accused of shooting and killing White at a house party in 2020.

The trial began nearly two weeks ago. Prosecutors said it was a deliberate murder after a summer party devolved into violence. They believe Montoya knew what he was doing when pulled out the gun.

The defense, however, claimed White was chasing Montoya and Montoya fired a random shot over his shoulder while running away – in fear for his life. They said Montoya was acting in self-defense and he wasn’t thinking when he pulled out a gun, shooting White.

The jury began deliberating just before 4 p.m. Monday. White’s family said they had faith the jury would see through Montoya’s defense.

The verdict was in by Tuesday afternoon – Montoya was found guilty on all counts, including first-degree murder and tampering with evidence.

In New Mexico, first-degree murder comes with a mandatory 30 years in prison.