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UPDATE: MMA Fighter, victim in home invasion could face charges; warrants issued for two women
By: Melissa Gundersen
LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- A mixed martial artist, who deputies said fought off four men during a home invasion last week, is under investigation and could possibly face charges, according to the district attorney during a press conference Tuesday.
Deputies said Joseph Torrez and his family were attacked by four men at their home on King James Road in northwest Las Cruces around 2 a.m. last Wednesday.
"My client had no relationship with any if these four individuals that came (into his home)," said his attorney C.J.McElhinney.
McElhinney said the four men, Sal Garces, Raymond Garces, Leonard Calvillo and Nathan Avalos, broke into Torrez's home shortly after he got into an argument with them.
"The argument stemmed from an incident at a party that my client was not at. He had nothing to do with (it). It involved his fiance's little sister. She was jumped at that party," said McElhinney.
Deputies also obtained warrants for two woman believed to have accompanied the group of men to Torrezs home.
Cylver Pearl Betancourt, 18, and Rachel Carrillo, 19, are wanted on aggravated burglary and conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary charges.
According to McElhinney at least two of the men who later tried to attack Torrez were the ones who jumped the young girl.
McElhinney said Torrez fought the four men trying to protect his fiance, her younger sister, his two-year-old son, and a few other women who were in his house at the time.
"Considering the odds that he was facing and what he was presented with it's really nothing short of a miracle that he wasn't seriously injured and his family wasn't seriously injured," said McElhinney.
Deputies said 25-year-old Sal Garces was stabbed to death. His brother Raymond Garces and Calvillo were arrested and charged with aggravated burglary and aggravated battery.
Monday night Avalos was also charged with the same charges. He's being held in the Dona Ana County Detention Center under $25,000 cash bond.
District Attorney Mark D'Antonio said if convicted all three men could face years in prison. Now the district attorney's office is investigating whether they should press charges against Torrez in connection with Sal Garces death.
"As of today I don't have enough a facts and information to make those important decisions, but I expect I will have that within the next few weeks," D'Antonio.
Investigators said they have blood samples, physical evidence and statements from witnesses.
"If we do have charges filed we're going to fight this thing in court all the way to the end," said McElhinney.
KFOX 14 crews stopped by the home of Torrez's sister to try to speak with his family, but no one wanted to comment.