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Did suspected accomplice hide gun used in J.B. White killing?

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – Investigators are looking into whether a teen helped get rid of the weapon used in the fatal shooting of former Santa Fe High School basketball star Fedonta “J.B.” White, according to recently filed court documents.

In search warrant affidavits filed last week, Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office deputies sought information from a juvenile, saying they suspect he “could have conspired to conceal the location of the firearm utilized in the death of J.B. White.”

The teen, identified only by his initials on the warrants, is said to be a friend of the accused shooter, 16-year-old Estevan Montoya, who has been charged as an adult and is facing an open count of murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, negligent use of a handgun, unlawful possession of a handgun and tampering with evidence. Montoya is accused of shooting White at a party in Chupadero, north of Santa Fe, during the early hours of Aug. 1 after the two got into a fight.

White was a prize recruit of the University of New Mexico men’s basketball team and was just weeks away from attending classes at UNM after graduating early and forgoing his senior season at SFHS.

The gun used in the shooting has not been found, according to court documents. Deputies have conducted seven searches to try to locate the weapon without any luck.

Montoya’s defense attorney, Dan Marlowe, told deputies that the gun had been tossed over a fence near the scene of the crime, but when officers searched for the gun, they couldn’t find it.

A social media post shows Montoya holding a black assault rifle and sitting next to the teenager named in the affidavits, who is holding a gun that matches the description of the weapon used to shoot White, according the warrant.

White’s mother also told police she received information that Carmela Clokey, Montoya’s mother, helped get rid of the gun Montoya used the night of the shooting, according to one of the search warrants.

The documents say that Clokey originally told law enforcement that she went to bed around 9 p.m. and didn’t make any phone calls between 3:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. the day White was killed.

However, during a search of her phone, deputies discovered she had texted her son’s friend around 4 a.m., about 30 minutes after the shooting took place, asking him to tell Montoya to call her.

She also texted the teen a week later, saying that if police tried to talk to him to tell them to contact Montoya’s lawyer.

Witnesses said the teen was with Montoya the night of the party and that they were members of the same gang, the “Southside Goons,” according to the search warrant.

Despite numerous attempts, law enforcement hadn’t been able to get a statement from the boy regarding the shooting at the time the warrants were filed.