LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – On the morning of New Mexico State men’s basketball’s game against UTEP in the Battle of I-10 in Las Cruces on November 30, State Police went to the Pan American Center to serve search warrants to members of the basketball program, according to law enforcement body camera footage obtained by KTSM.
Police were serving warrants from the Bernalillo County District Court, looking for a phone and other items. Police were looking for NMSU players Marchelus Avery, Issa Muhammad, and Anthony Roy, trying to serve search warrants concerning the ongoing investigation into a deadly November 19 shooting in Albuquerque involving NMSU basketball player Mike Peake.
KTSM learned on Wednesday that the Bernalillo County District Attorney is working with New Mexico State Police to investigate NMSU staff and players following the shooting on the UNM campus.
“The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office is actively working with the New Mexico State Police to investigate the conduct of the New Mexico State University staff and players. We are still continuing to receive evidence regarding this case and will evaluate the materials as they are submitted,” the D.A.’s office said in a statement to KTSM.
It’s important to note that no one involved with NMSU athletics has been charged with a crime in the case.
As many as 10 law enforcement officials went looking for NMSU’s player in the hours before the Aggies beat the Miners on their home court. Police say those three aided Peake after the shooting, leaving Peake injured and 19-year-old UNM student Brandon Travis killed.
Police can be seen asking some members of the NMSU team if they were those three players, but they did not find them outside the Pan American Center. They also gave the paperwork to associate head coach Dominique Taylor, who turned the gun Peake used over to law enforcement in the hours following the shooting on November 19.
After speaking with Taylor outside, law enforcement went into the coach’s offices inside the Pan American Center to speak with head coach Greg Heiar and handed him documents. Officers asked Heiar how to get a hold of some of the players to give them the search warrants. The subsequent interaction can be heard in the body camera footage.
Police: “Do you have a way to get a hold of these three players?”
Greg Heiar:” I don’t, no.”
Police: “So they’ll be at the game tonight though, right?”
Greg Heiar: (doesn’t answer)
Police: “They’re gonna be at the game tonight, though?”
Greg Heiar: “Ya, they’ll be at the game.”
It remains unclear if any of the players were given those warrants. KTSM asked state police for copies of them but was given another copy of the November 19 incident report. NMSU did not comment on the report, citing the ongoing investigation.
After police showed up, the Aggies beat the Miners 95-70 later that night. But after the game, NMSU players told the media that Peake had called the locker room at halftime.
“(Peake) told us to keep our foot on their neck,” senior guard Xavier Pinson said.
Added Roy, “He got on the phone screaming. He was excited to see our halftime lead. He wanted us to keep it pushing, don’t let up.”
Heiar then said Peake called in after the game.
“He said he was hopping around his play on one leg and just saying how excited she was,” said Heiar.
The three players – Avery, Muhammad, and Roy – were seen on surveillance footage aiding Peake after the shooting. According to police, Peake put his gun and tablet into the back of a yellow Camaro that arrived shortly after the shooting, with Avery, Muhammad, and Roy inside and an as-of-now unidentified drive.
State police knew of the players’ involvement later that day in a phone call with NMSU Deputy Athletic Director Braun Cartwright.
“Some of our guys already spoke to Mike at the hospital,” officer David Esquibel can be heard saying to Cartwright on body camera footage. “He told them that he gave a weapon and his tablet to a couple of the other players, Issa Muhammad and Anthony Roy. If those items are in one of their rooms, then we need them to hand them over now because they’re evidence. We don’t want anyone else to get hemmed up for tampering with evidence.”
Peake’s gun, tablet, and phone were all located later that day with various New Mexico State University officials. His tablet was found on NMSU’s bus after it stopped at a rest stop after leaving the hotel, and Esquibel had followed it there. Peake’s phone was given to the police by NMSU athletic department employee Ed Posaski.
According to the police report, the three players told head coach Greg Heiar the gun was located in a room on the hotel’s second floor; Heiar then called Taylor and directed him to retrieve it and hand it over to the police. On body camera footage, the detective asks Taylor if he has the gun over the phone; Taylor says yes.
“Coach Taylor explained that Issa, Marcelus, and Anthony told Coach Heiar where the firearm was at. Coach Heiar then called Coach Taylor and told him where the firearm was and to go get it. I had Coach Taylor show me which room he got the firearm from,” the report states.
Taylor is then seen on body camera footage later that day on November 19, saying which players alerted coaches to the whereabouts of the items, particularly the gun.
“Muhammad, Avery, and Roy,” Taylor said. “I don’t know which one had it or which room it belonged to, but those were the ones who had the answers when Coach Heiar asked them, ‘hey, where’s this stuff at?'”
An NMSU police officer asked state police over text message on November 19 if any Aggie players could be charged. Officer Esquibel responded by saying he didn’t think so. Almost three weeks later… none of them have.
University police also asked for continued updates because they help the NMSU administration determine potential suspensions.
New Mexico State suspended Avery, Muhammad, and Roy on Wednesday for the Aggies’ game on the road at Santa Clara last night due to the ongoing investigation. Peake has been suspended indefinitely since Monday.
KTSM has confirmed a Las Cruces Sun-News report that Anthony Roy is on probation from a 2021 drug charge in Idaho. Roy was suspended for Wednesday night’s game at Santa Clara and did not make the trip to California for what the school called on Tuesday “personal reasons.”
All this comes from a deadly shooting at UNM on November 19 that left 19-year-old UNM student Brandon Travis dead and New Mexico State men’s basketball player Mike Peake hospitalized with injuries. Peake was in Albuquerque for the originally scheduled November 19 game between the Aggies and Lobos at The Pit.
According to police, the shooting was in response to a fight on October 15 at the UNM-NMSU football game in Las Cruces involving Peake, other NMSU student-athletes, Brandon Travis, and other UNM students.
Travis and four other UNM students conspired to lure Peake to campus at 3 a.m. Saturday morning and assault him. So far, two students have been arrested: 19-year-old Jonathan Smith and a 17-year-old female, both of whom have been charged with multiple crimes, including Aggravated Battery and Conspiracy.
The school says Peake was disciplined for his role in an October 15 fight that was the alleged precursor to the November 19 shooting but had not detailed what that discipline was.
NMSU and police have confirmed that Peake took a gun on a team bus to Albuquerque, breaking University policy, and carried a gun on the UNM campus, a misdemeanor in New Mexico.