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New Mexico student pleads guilty for role in fatal shooting

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Shooting Update |

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A University of New Mexico freshman pleaded guilty to two counts stemming from his role in a deadly campus shooting that involved a basketball player from a rival school.

Prosecutors said Thursday that Jonathan Smith, 19, agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated battery and tampering with evidence. The agreement was sealed and unavailable for public inspection.

He was accused of participating in a plan to lure New Mexico State University basketball player Mike Peake hours before a scheduled basketball game between the two schools in November with the intent to ambush him.

Authorities said the confrontation led to a shootout between Peake and 19-year-old UNM student Brandon Travis, who died at the scene.

Prosecutors said Smith, who was unarmed that night, faces up to three years of incarceration. A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.

Authorities believe Travis conspired with Smith and at least two others — including a 17-year-old — to lure Peake to campus and assault him. They have said Travis was seeking revenge for being beaten up in a fight involving Peake and other men at an Oct. 15 football game in Las Cruces between the two schools.

New Mexico State Police have said that the gun Peake possessed was legal, but the gun used by Travis was stolen in June out of a man's truck in Clovis.

Peake, 21, suffered a leg wound in the shootout that has required several surgeries. He has not been charged in Travis' death but was suspended indefinitely from the Aggies' basketball team.

Prosecutors said cases are still pending with two other suspects.

The Associated Press