Investigation Underway on MMA Fighter at Center of New Mexico Home Invasion
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 01.08.2014
He could face criminal charges...
MMAjunkie reports that there is currently investigation regarding whether MMA fighter Joseph Torrez will face criminal charges. Torrez was in an alleged home invasion that left one man dead.
The district attorney said that police plan on recreating the crime scene and using forensic evidence in order to determine if Torrez acted in self defense during the invasion that took place on New Year's Day in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Dona Ana County District Attorney Mark D'Antonio said, "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."
He added, "It's my belief that just because you're gifted with certain skills, or size, or ability, makes no difference to me. 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."
Torrez's lawyer, C.J. McElhinney said the home invasion was preceded by an incident at a party where the younger sister of Torrez's fiance was attacked by two women believed to be involved with the invasion. Alleged gang members reportedly called Torrez and threatened him. The sister was at Torrez's home when the incident occurred.
McElhinney claimed that police said this past week that Torrez would be brought up on criminal charges. He then advised his client to not cooperate in the case. Apparently, authorities shifted course due to public support for Torrez. $1,000 are said to have been raised for a legal defense fund set up for Torrez. McElhinney said, "The battle has already started, and right now the battle is to keep him from being charged, period. If he gets charged, then the battle is going to be to win the case. You don't start fighting after you've been hit."
Jacob Benitez, Torrez's trainer, said, "He's hanging in there. He said it's taken an emotional toll on him. He really wishes it wouldn't have happened."