New Mexico State
More reports coming out about the New Mexico State Aggies and the Mike Peake story. Courtesy NMSU Athletics.

More News on New Mexico State, Mike Peake as Investigation Continues

In the early morning hours of Nov. 19, just hours before a rivalry game at New Mexico, New Mexico State men’s basketball player Mike Peake left the team hotel after curfew.

What ensued following that poor choice has now grown in deeper water for the New Mexico State Aggies.

Reports are that Peake was lured out by a female, who had set up a plot with friends to confront Peake on the UNM campus in those early morning hours.

The girl and her friends jumped Peake with baseball bats and a 19-year-old pulled a gun and shot Peake while he was running away. Peake was also carrying and returned fire, killing 19-year-old Brandon Travis.

Since that initial report came to life, New Mexico State has been pretty mum on what they can and can’t say with the ongoing investigation. And that is within their legal right to not comment on an ongoing investigation.

On Monday night, while the Aggies were playing Simon Fraser, a more extended, and trouble report came out from KOAT 7 Action News.

First is that the report names NMSU players who were out after curfew. That is something we have known from the outset that other New Mexico State players were out after curfew. What we didn’t know were the names and New Mexico State officials did not release any of those names when asked about them in a press conference. The report states there is a video of Peake meeting up with his teammates.

Second, that the players named were not just out after curfew, they actually met Mike Peake after the shooting. Per the report, “after the shooting, Peake is seen on video approaching a yellow Camaro, where he meets three of his teammates…Peake is seen putting items into the trunk right before the car drives off. Police arrive after the Camaro drove off.”

From the Albuquerque Journal –

“According to a police report obtained by the Journal’s news gathering partner KOAT-TV, basketball player Mike Peake met up with three of his teammates in a yellow Camaro on campus before police arrived and put his gun and tablet in the trunk.”

“Those teammates then repeatedly called their assistant coach Dominique Taylor and head coach Greg Heiar. But it would take more than 12 hours before the gun ended up in the hands of the New Mexico State Police who investigated the shooting.”

Also from the Albuquerque Journal –

“Coach Taylor explained that Issa (Muhammad), Marchelus (Avery), and Anthony (Roy) told coach Heiar where the firearm was at,” the officer wrote in the report. “Coach Heiar then called coach Taylor and told him where the firearm was at and to go get it.”

Third, that one New Mexico State assistant met with a state police agent after the shooting. And that assistant was the same person to notify the state agent that they had the firearm back at the hotel.

From the news report –

“I emphasized to Coach Taylor how important it was to recover the gun and other items that were placed in the trunk,” state police agent David Esquibel wrote in his report. “I asked him to let me know if he finds out any information about the Camaro, the gun or other items and he said he would.”

From the Albuquerque Journal –

Fourth, that, per the report, the detective tried to get in touch with associate head coach Dominique Taylor and head coach Greg Heiar. But, both calls went to voicemail. Per the report, the detective spoke with Braun Cartwright who informed the detective that New Mexico State was on the team bus headed back to Las Cruces.

From the Albuquerque Journal –

“In the meantime, around 11:30 a.m., the officer saw the team get on the bus to leave town. He left messages for Taylor but did not get a call back.”

This state police agent, David Esquibel, says that he started down I-25 with his lights and sirens on trying to catch the team bus. While driving, Esquibel received a “text message from a New Mexico State University police lieutenant who offered to assist. The detective told the campus officer to contact someone on the bus and have them pull over. The campus officer also texted the state police investigator that Taylor had the firearm back at the team’s hotel in Albuquerque.”

So, after stopping the bus, Esquibel finds the tablet that they were looking for but there is no sign of Mike Peake’s phone.

“The state police agent caught up with the bus at the Fort Craig rest stop and spoke with another assistant coach, Lorenzo Jenkins. He had Peake’s tablet but said he had no idea where his phone was. The coach would not allow the detective to speak to any of the players and said that “they told Cartwright they wanted an attorney.”

The Albuquerque Journal has a little more detail to add to Esquibel meeting up with the team bus.

“At approximately 12:51 p.m., I receive a text message from NMSU Police Department Lieutenant (Lt.) Nelson McGuire that they could assist us if needed. I contacted Lt. McGuire over the phone and asked if he could get in contact with anyone on the bus to have them pull over,” the officer wrote in the report. “A short while later I receive a text message from Lt. McGuire stating they pulled over at the Fort Craig rest stop…”

It goes on. At the rest stop the officers were handed Peake’s tablet in a backpack and were told that coach Taylor had the gun back at the DoubleTree hotel, according to the report.

Back at the Doubletree Hotel in Albuquerque, Esquibel met with Taylor who had the gun wrapped in a towel, per the report.

From the Albuquerque Journal –

“Around 3:45 p.m. — after the basketball team had left town and following a flurry of messages involving Heiar and deputy athletics director Braun Cartwright — assistant coach Taylor met with an officer at the DoubleTree hotel and handed him the gun, wrapped in a towel.”

Per Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News, the NMSU administration including athletic director Mario Moccia have no comment at this time. In his post game press conference, Greg Heiar answered no comment to questions put forth about the report. The only one Heiar responded to was that everyone was set to go on the trip to Santa Clara that the Aggies leave for on Tuesday morning.

This all comes after New Mexico State athletic director Mario Moccia announced that Mike Peake was suspended indefinitely from the Aggie basketball team.


About the author

Kyle McDonald

Love everything about WAC Hoops so decided I wanted to write more about it and cover this amazing conference that just keeps getting better. Follow us on Twitter @wachoopsdigest for information, game analysis and much more.

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