Report: New Mexico MMA Fighter Fends Off 4, Killing 1 in Home Invasion

By Mike Whitman Jan 7, 2014
A New Mexico mixed martial artist allegedly stabbed a man to death while fending off four intruders during a home invasion on Jan. 1, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Joe Torrez, 27, could face charges and is reportedly no longer cooperating in the police investigation, according to his attorney, C.J. McElhinney.

“Our cooperation has ended after it became clear that it looked like authorities were keying in on my client and not those involved in the break-in,” McElhinney told the Associated Press.

According to the report, Sal Garces, 25, died from stab wounds after breaking into Torrez’s mobile home in Las Cruces, N.M., with three other men. Torrez’s finance and child were reportedly home at the time of the break-in, and Torrez allegedly engaged in a physical altercation with the men, one of which suffered “serious facial injuries,” according to the report. McElhinney also told the A.P. that one man attacked Torrez with a handmade shank and another grabbed a kitchen knife.

Leonard Calvillo, 22, and Raymond Garces, 19, the brother of the deceased, have been charged with aggravated burglary and aggravated battery, according to the report. Nathan Avalos, 20, was hospitalized due to his injuries, but police reportedly plan to charge him upon his release. Torrez has since reportedly moved out of the area for his family’s safety.

A professional fighter since 2009, Torrez owns a record of 1-5, earning his lone victory via submission in August 2009. The lightweight most recently competed this past July, suffering a first-round knockout at the hands of Rodrigo Sotelo under the Rocktagon MMA banner in El Paso, Texas.


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