3rd suspect arrested in deadly break-in at MMA fighter's home

Updated: 01/07/2014 1:03 PM | Created: 01/07/2014 12:56 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- A third man suspected of invading a trained mixed martial artist's home on New Year's Day is behind bars.

Nathan Avalos, 20, turned himself in shortly after 6 p.m. on Monday. Avalos faces several charges, including aggravated burglary, in connection to the home invasion turned fatal stabbing.

Dona Ana County officials said four men forced their way into Joseph Torrez's home, where a fight broke out between the suspects and the MMA fighter. One of the suspects was stabbed to death while the others fled from the scene.

According to the sheriff's office, the incident stemmed from an argument that happened earlier that evening. The details of the argument are still under investigation.

Deputies discovered the body of 25-year-old Sal Garces two doors down from where the alleged invasion took place. Officials said Garces suffered blunt force trauma to the head and had been stabbed several times.

His body has been sent to the OMI for an autopsy.

Deputies arrested the two other suspects, 22-year-old Leonard Calvillo and 19-year-old Raymond Garces, on Jan. 1. They both face several charges, including aggravated battery and burglary.

The district attorney's office said Tuesday that Torrez could face charges in the stabbing death, pending an investigation that could take weeks. His supporters have set up a Facebook page to raise money for his legal expenses.

Torrez's fiancée and child were inside the home at the time of the incident. Authorities said his fiancée tried to use her body against the front door to keep the men from entering.

Nathan Avalos
Joseph Torrez
Photo: Twitter

KOB welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the rules of conduct set forth in our Terms of Use. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Use.

Join Our Email List