UNM student pleads not guilty to role in campus attack

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A UNM student was arraigned Monday for his alleged role in an attack on a former New Mexico State athlete.

Eli-Sha Upshaw waived a formal reading of his charges and entered a not guilty plea Monday. Upshaw is currently out of jail on conditions of release, granted to him because of his clean record. However, his conditions specify he lives with his mother in Maryland.

Investigators say Upshaw and three other UNM students lured NMSU men’s basketball player Mike Peake to campus and attacked him. Prosecutors say Upshaw was seen on surveillance video holding a bat and hitting Peake with it.

Prosecutors say the motive was revenge for a fight at an NMSU football game. Upshaw allegedly admitted to being involved in that fight.

“I saw Brandon being kicked so, me being me, I helped my friend fight and I, liked, messed up my hand here,” Eli-Sha Upshaw said.

At some point during the retaliatory attack, there was a shootout between Peake and 19-year-old UNM student Brandon Travis, who died at the scene.

In an interview with police, Upshaw denied being there in the attack. Investigators also accuse him of trying to destroy evidence.

Under Upshaw’s conditions of release, he will also have to abide by a curfew and maintain his schooling.