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Posted: January 06, 2014

Bad idea: Gang invades home of MMA fighter, pays high price

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. —

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A New Mexico attorney set up a Facebook page to support mixed martial arts fighter Joseph Torrez, after Torrez allegedly fought four home intruders, killing one of them.

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Torrez, a 27-year-old construction worker as well as a mixed martial arts fighter, fought the alleged gang members after they forced their way into his mobile home, according to the attorney, identified as C.J. McElhinney.

One of the alleged intruders, 25-year-old Sal Garces, was beaten and stabbed to death, according to a report in the Las Cruces Sun-News.  Another of the alleged intruders, 20-year-old Nathan M. Avalos, was hospitalized with facial injuries, according to the report. Avalos will be charged in connection with the incident after he is released from the hospital, according to the lawyer who set up Torrez' Facebook page. Two others -- 19-year-old Raymond Garces (brother of the man who was stabbed to death) and Leonard Calvillo, 22, were jailed in connection with the incident after being tracked down by authorities.

Torrez, who may have acted in self-defense, was not immediately charged.

The attorney who set up the Facebook page, C.J. McElhinney, said Torrez was at home with his young son, his fiancee and her friends when the suspects called and threatened his life. "I'm big Eastside," suspect Leonard Calvillo reportedly said, referring to a local gang, " ... I'll kill you and your family ... I will go to your house."

Witnesses in the home told investigators that when the men smashed their way into the home, one was carrying a "crude shank" while another grabbed a knife found inside the home.

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