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Thursday, January 2, 2014 - 7:13pm
DONA ANA COUNTY, N.M. — A man is dead after an early morning home invasion in Dona Ana County early New Year's Day after a group of men were confronted by a man inside.
Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the 600 block of King James Road after a call about a home invasion from within the house.
The men involved are Sal Garces, 25, his brother Raymond Garces, 19, and two other men, Nathan Avalos, 19 and Leonard Calvillo, 22.,.
The older Garces died on the scene from head injuries and stab wounds to his body.
"The men that went to the home were allegedly trying to settle some kind of argument with the man who lives inside the home," said Dona Ana County Sheriff's Department Spokesperson Kelly Jameson.
The man inside is a mixed martial arts fighter and the group of four suspected intruders had allegedly had an argument at a different location earlier in the night and came to confront the man.
"There were explicit threats made against my client and his family," said Johnson & McElhinney Attorney C.J. McElhinney.
McElhinney said the men broke a window and kicked the door in to get inside.
He added at least one of the men had some sort of homemade weapon and it's believed they also picked up a knife from the kitchen.
Jameson said a knife and beer bottle were found at the scene.
Investigators said the fight resulted in the death of Sal Garces, 25, found on the road with multiple stab wounds and injuries to the head.
"Essentially my client did what he had to do and defended himself and he defended his family," McElhinney said.
McElhinney said his client has been cooperating with the investigation and Jameson said he was scheduled to meet with investigators Thursday afternoon.
McElhinney added his client is very worried for his well-being after the confirmed gang-related incident.
"We're dealing with some people that are not known to be nice so he's definitely concerned for his safety and the safety of his family," he said.
Jameson said there was a 2-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl inside the home at the time of the alleged invasion.
Both were unharmed according to Jameson.
The younger Garces and Calvillo were arrested with the help of the Las Cruces Police Department and face multiple charges ranging from aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and criminal damage to property.
Avalos is in the hospital with severe face injuries and has not been charged.
A spokesperson for the district attorney's office said more charges could be filed once the investigation fully develops.
McElhinney said he doesn't expect his client to be charged.