UnderGround Forums NM fighter may face prosecution for home defense

1/8/14 11:31 PM
Posts: 13660

NM fighter may face prosecution for home defense


In the early morning hours of New Year's Day, four men broke into the mobile home of Joseph Torrez in Las Cruces, NM. Present in the home at the time were Torrez, his fiance, their 2-year-old son, and the fiance's sister.

One attacker was armed with a sharp length of broken off baseball bat. Another reportedly picked up a knife on the premises. According to Torrez’s lawyer, C.J. McElhinney, the four men were associated with the East Side Locos gang, and have prior convictions for violent crimes. One of the home invaders was even wearing an electronic ankle bracelet.

Torrez, who has been training for nearly a decade at Gracie Barra Las Cruces, and fights professionally in mixed martial arts, was able to drive the intruders from his home.

In the process, Sal Garces, 25, who entered the home with the wooden shank, was killed. Nathan Avalos, 20, was hospitalized, and arrested when released. Leonard Calvillo, 22, who called Torrez on the phone saying "I’ll kill you and your family ... I’ll go to your house," fled and was later arrested, as was the fourth attacker, Raymond Garces, 19, brother of the deceased. Also arrested were two women who accompanied the four to the home.

The attack is believed to have been precipitated by an incident involving the 17-year-old sister of Torrez’s fiance at a New Year’s Eve Party earlier in the evening. Mr. Elhinney said that the young woman got into some type of altercation there with one or more members of the arrested group. The 17 year old then went to the Torrez home as a safety precaution.

Her judgement proved to be correct - her older sister's fiancee was able to protect his family. However, MMA Junkie is now reporting that prosecutors will decide this month whether or not to prosecute Torrez.

Joe Torrez's problem appears to be that he won. If the four attackers had made good on their threat, and killed him, attacked his fiance's sister, and wreaked who knows what havoc on the remaining mother and child, it would be cut and dried. But he defended himself ably, alone killing an armed home intruder, injuring another, and forcing two more to flee, all without a firearm.

Joe Torrez deserves the keys to the city, not a possible legal fight.

Dona Ana County (N.M.) District Attorney Mark D’Antonio said police will recreate the crime scene and use forensic evidence to determine whether Torrez acted in self defense during the invasion on New Year’s Day in Las Cruces.

“Mr. Torrez has not been charged with a crime, and I won’t make any decision in the case until I’m satisfied that the case has been thoroughly investigated,” said D’Antonio.

D’Antonio said Torrez’s background as an MMA fighter will have “absolutely no bearing” on the decision and said his office will focus on whether his use of force was reasonable given the circumstances.

“It’s my belief that just because you’re gifted with certain skills, or size, or ability, makes no difference to me,” D’Antonio said. “If you’re 6-foot-9 and 350 pounds, as long as you act reasonably, then you’re covered. It’s just the same as if you were a 125-pound non-fighter weakling.”

McElhinney said police told him this past week that Torrez would be criminally charged, which prompted him to advise his client against cooperating in the case. He said authorities shifted course when public support emerged for the fighter.

The attorney also said he has hired a retired homicide detective to run a parallel investigation.

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1/8/14 11:37 PM
Posts: 19368
This is why every state should have "Castle" laws....
1/8/14 11:41 PM
Posts: 8626
Scum bag lawyers got to gets paid.
I hate this type of shit.
Agreed on Castle laws. Phone Post 3.0
1/8/14 11:45 PM
Posts: 68
Shit I thought (and applauded) that in the the US if someone broke into your house it was an "all bets are off" kind of deal.

1/8/14 11:46 PM
Posts: 11979
This is fucking sickening and makes me sad to be american.

Reasonable force? You come into my house looking to intimidate me with your backup homeboys you get whatever you got coming, period. At least those scumbags had a fighting chance. Thats MUCH more than they would have gotten from me. All i got for em is buckshot.

My family means a fuckload more to me than your ability to continue breathing. Phone Post 3.0
1/8/14 11:48 PM
Posts: 11980
Take note "next person running against this DA" your whole campaign is right here!

This dude deserves no public office if the public isnt allowed to defend their own homes and families Phone Post 3.0
1/9/14 12:05 AM
Posts: 270
True story... Retired police officer hears a noise outside the front door of his house late at night. His dog (who was a trained police dog) let's the owner know something is not right. The owner gets his gun and walks out of his bedroom. A naked man is running up his steps straight towards him with a knife. The owner yells for him to stop but the lunatic (who was just released from prison) doesn't stop running up the steps. The owner shoots him and kill a him.

The retired police officer was prosecuted and found guilty but the case was later over turned. The Prosexutor said he could have retreated back into his bedroom and called the police. The owner said by daughter was in another bedroom across the hall so he could not do that. He eventually got off but it is just incredible what can happen.

"Reasonable force!" Very poor criteria. So you can hit the bad guy but you have to make sure you hit him hard enough but not too hard. I know these laws are put into effect so people can't manipulate the system but we have to use common sense.
1/9/14 12:05 AM
Posts: 54104

Four gang members with violent records, one of them armed, show up at his home and force their way in, and the DA asks "Would a reasonable person feel they were under some sort of threat?"

I am sure Torrez is deeply disturbed about what happened, but what happened was justice.

Guy deserves a medal.


1/9/14 12:23 AM
Posts: 103
“Was there the appearance of immediate danger?”

What?, like 4 intruders in his home, in the middle of the night? While He, his Wife, Sister and child were present? Not to mention 2 of the known gang member intruders were armed with a knife and a baseball bat shank!! Naw, no immediate danger here. They stopped by unannounced for tea and fucking crumpets...

Jesus, is this real life? This man should be applauded and revered. Charges? Because he's adept at MMA, and capable of defending his family and himself? Thaaaaaa fuck outta here.

Its disgusting the threat of charges are even being considered.
1/9/14 12:35 AM
Posts: 3056
Yet the guy who shot his 14 year old stepdaughter who was sneaking in from staying out late through a basement window gets a pass. He didn't even try to ID the potential criminal he shot first and woops.

Meanwhile this dude is outnumbered and they had weapons. He has to move his family in the cover of night for fear of gang payback. And now this DA is even entertaining the notion that charges may be brought up?

What they should do is call him a hero and crack down on this gang scum.

They should open up some MMA gyms to take those kids with nowhere to go and give them something productive in their lives. For them to learn honor and discipline. Phone Post 3.0
1/9/14 12:42 AM
Posts: 69746

Some idiot that assaulted me got off because I said I threw him to the ground after he hit me.... wtf is up with courts





1/9/14 1:02 AM
Posts: 11601

there's no jury on earth that would find this guy guilty (unless new evidence is intorduced)... there's no way any sane prosecutor would place their career in jeapordy with a stunt like this.

1/9/14 1:26 AM
Posts: 293
I don't even know what to say...... Phone Post 3.0
1/9/14 2:07 AM
Posts: 874
The issue is obviously, was the threat still imminent when he killed the dude.

Let's just suppose for a moment that they got their asses kicked and were running for their lives. The one guy gets caught from behind and beaten to death.

That is the question then, is that defending yourself your loved ones and your home, or is that murder?

It's a difficult line to walk because if the invaders are clearly fleeing, then how to you judge it? Do you take the stance "you're in my home so I can do whatever I want to you?". Strictly speaking this cannot fly, because you cannot imprison the person and torture them, so the "I can do whatever the fuck I want" stance has no legal foundation. Clearly the law is written with only a dire emergency in mind.

What is is going to come down to is simply, did he kill him in repelling them, or did he chase one down and kill him or did he subdue him and then kill him.

There is no question that these guys were dirt bags and got what they deserved. However the law tends to judge these cases based on just how imminent the threat was at the time of death.

If you kill a person who is running away from you, even after they tried to assault you, you go from defending yourself to becoming the assailant.
1/9/14 2:53 AM
Posts: 254
" District Attorney Mark D'Antonio said police will recreate the crime scene and use forensic evidence to determine whether Torrez acted in self defense during the invasion on New Year's Day in Las Cruces.

"Mr. Torrez has not been charged with a crime, and I won't make any decision in the case until I'm satisfied that the case has been thoroughly investigated," said D'Antonio."

D'Antonio said Torrez's background as an MMA fighter will have "absolutely no bearing" on the decision and said his office will focus on whether his use of force was reasonable given the circumstances.

"It's my belief that just because you're gifted with certain skills, or size, or ability, makes no difference to me," D'Antonio said. "If you're 6-foot-9 and 350 pounds, as long as you act reasonably, then you're covered. It's just the same as if you were a 125-pound non-fighter weakling."

He has not been charged and the defense attorney said the police will charge him. $$$$
1/9/14 5:33 AM
Posts: 10978
obviously the police don't like it when the citizens can take the law into their own hands and do a better job than they can..
1/9/14 5:57 AM
Posts: 1940
If this goes to trial, I hope that I'm able to donate towards his defense. Phone Post 3.0
1/9/14 6:04 AM
Posts: 7291
The man did a service to the community by eliminating the worthless gangmember. This is B.S Phone Post 3.0
1/9/14 7:11 AM
Posts: 4817
I'm sure he will not be prosecuted for anything. Surely he can't be. Phone Post 3.0
1/9/14 7:11 AM
Posts: 3342

This whole world's going to shit and this is just further proof


1/9/14 7:24 AM
Posts: 4283
If the only facts of case are what's currently out in the news I hope everything gets dismissed. Phone Post 3.0
1/9/14 8:12 AM
Posts: 11619
He will not be prosecuted.
No way. Phone Post 3.0
1/9/14 8:25 AM
Posts: 275
This is a terrible terrible thing. It's like the kingpin of all bad guys runs the justice system and every criminal are his henchmen or something. Phone Post 3.0
1/9/14 8:31 AM
Posts: 28
We can never make a determination of guilt--or even whether or not he will be charged--based solely on what the media tells us. If you've never been directly involved in an incident and then later seen it reported in the media, you would not believe how wrong it usually is.
1/9/14 9:04 AM
Posts: 16871

I have worked in Dona Ana County it is back asswards. If they go after him for killing that thug I will lead the charge on his defense fund.

You have an absolute right to protect yourself that is an undeniable right.