FanDuel - WFBC

January 06, 2014

MMA fighter Joe Torrez kills armed intruder Sal Garces in New Mexico: Torrez may be charged after he fended off four home intruders, killing one and severely injuring another.

posted by BornIcon to other at 11:27 AM - 17 comments

The story said that they "haven't ruled out filing charges" against Torrez. I think that's slightly different than "may be charged," but that's semantics really. I'm not sure how New Mexico law works, but here in Nevada, there is a presumption that deadly force is used in self defense when in the home. That means that to charge the resident with any homicide-related crime, the state will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Torrez was the aggressor, and that deadly force was not necessary. Considering that 4 men had forcefully entered his home, I'm not sure how the state of New Mexico, if their laws are similar to Nevada (and they usually are) could possibly do that.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:35 PM on January 06

Sure, but I'd at least like them to do an investigation to figure out the facts of the situation, you know? They shouldn't just take Torrez' word for it. Not that this would actually be the case, but what if Torrez was just having a get-together with friends and then got pissed for some reason and went on a rampage, and then made it look like there was a forced entry to the door or something? I'd at least want the police to rule that, and probably a bunch of other not-so-far-fetched things, out. At least make sure Torrez' story is plausible.

posted by LionIndex at 01:11 PM on January 06

The problem is, as Adam West told Peter in the Family Guy rendition of Stand By Me, that (other) members of that gang can come back any time in the future and do what they want. To Toerrez's sister if he's not home especially.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:34 PM on January 06

The best part of this is that no firearms were involved. That keeps the story from being swamped by the usual ancillary discussion points and rationales.

posted by beaverboard at 02:00 PM on January 06

Yeah, good thing nobody's mentioned guns here.

It's the exception that proves the rule!

posted by Hugh Janus at 02:08 PM on January 06

New Jersey courts have had several decisions which follow the idea of "a man's home is his castle," meaning the owner has a right to protect him/herself and property. The question here may be in the amount of force used: beating and stabbing: would beating an intruder have been enough to produce injury and encourage the others to leave? Was a stabbing necessary?

In the end, I expect no criminal charges, but expect the "amount of force" to be an argument if a civil suit by the dead man's family is sought.

posted by jjzucal at 02:40 PM on January 06

Stand your ground, unless you're Mexican.

posted by phaedon at 03:18 PM on January 06

My guess is that Torrez can administer an ambulance level beating on an instinctive basis in a very brief period of time. Who knows where the necessity level stops and the excessivity level begins when the blows are a blur? For two of the guys to grab their scrota and split, Torrez' response must have become overwhelming very quickly.

If the gang decides to return, which hombre wants to be the first man in?

I'll bet a lot of people have thoughts or fantasies about what they would do if they were able to prevail if someone busted into their place and it was do or die. In my case, I have the land area I need. I just don't have the excavation equipment.

posted by beaverboard at 03:43 PM on January 06

New Jersey courts have had several decisions which follow the idea of "a man's home is his castle," meaning the owner has a right to protect him/herself and property.

And out here in the wild, wild west, like I noted above, that right to protect your home is pretty deeply ingrained in the public and legal ethos. I'm not certain what sort of prosecutor would try to convince a jury that Torrez had the right only to disable one of four intruders, rather than taking the intruder out of the equation entirely. When there's 4 people in your house wishing you and your family harm (assuming what Torrez has said so far is all accurate), you can't be expected to think to yourself "this guys out cold, I can go get the other three now." You take each one out of play as you can, and make damn sure they don't wake up and re-join the fray.

For two of the guys to grab their scrota and split, Torrez' response must have become overwhelming very quickly.

Exactly. You want to keep the hoardes from invading your land? Put a head on a pike out front!

On edit...guns

posted by tahoemoj at 03:54 PM on January 06

I'll bet a lot of people have thoughts or fantasies about what they would do if they were able to prevail if someone busted into their place and it was do or die.

Yeah, I talk them into turning around and leaving every time. Sometimes I pour them a drink or light them up a big fat doobie before sending them on their way, and occasionally I give them a job and a fat roll of cash for their troubles.

My break-in fantasies are categorically superior.

posted by Hugh Janus at 03:55 PM on January 06

When you jump a guy with a gun, you get shot. A knife, stabbed. MMA fighter, ass beating of a lifetime. I don't get what the fuss is. With two other dudes there, he should have been more gentle?

posted by phaedon at 04:46 PM on January 06

It's tough under the Castle Doctrine to get in trouble for using too much force in your home when defending yourself from intruders. Byron Smith managed it when he allegedly shot two teen intruders, dragged them to the basement and shot them again when they were helpless.

This story says Torrez has a 1-5 record in MMA fights.

posted by rcade at 05:36 PM on January 06

2-5 now I'd say...

posted by Drood at 11:28 PM on January 06

He took four guys off the street one way or another, so I think law enforcement might put him at .500

posted by beaverboard at 12:15 AM on January 07

Hugh, please PM your address.

It's tough under the Castle Doctrine to get in trouble for using too much force in your home

I think we all learned this via one of the best Simpsons episodes of all time, "Cape Feare" wherein esteemed jurisprudence expert Clancy Wiggum advises Homer, "Once a man is in your home, anything you do to him is nice and legal."

posted by yerfatma at 10:51 AM on January 07

A line from the latest Torrez story: "McElhinney (his lawyer) said Torrez does not recall clearly all the moments of the brawl, including how Sal Garces received his fatal wounds."

We might not be getting anything close to the whole story here.

posted by rcade at 03:55 PM on January 07

More details, including Torrez kicking someone after he fled and two women being with the four men who invaded the home.

This sounds like two groups of people beefing with each other and the ensuing fight getting way out of hand.

posted by rcade at 10:36 AM on January 08

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