Woman claims correctional officers bragged about their involvement in inmate's death | KOB 4

Woman claims correctional officers bragged about their involvement in inmate's death

Patrick Hayes
Updated: July 31, 2020 10:28 PM
Created: July 31, 2020 08:33 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A new lawsuit sheds light on what may have happened after a Bernalillo County jail inmate died while being restrained.

The lawsuit accuses two correctional officers of bragging about killing Vicente Villela in Feb. 2019.


Officers were trying to move Villela to a different cell. When he refused, officers held him down. One of the officers told another officer to sit on Villela. A guard also used his knee to keep Villela from moving. Minutes after Villela said he couldn't breathe, he stopped moving.

A former Bernalillo County employee said she overheard "the two correction officers bragging about killing Mr. Villela."

She claims she also heard the officer refer to inmates as "scum."

The lawsuit alleges the woman tried telling her supervisors about the behavior. When they didn't listen, she said she emailed the deputy chief.

According to court documents, the woman was terminated from her position on Feb. 8, 2019.

The county would not comment on the lawsuit.

The investigation into Villela's death was reopened, and two of the guards were put on administrative leave. 

Attorney General Hector Balderas is also reviewing the case to see if any criminal charges should be filed.


Copyright 2020 - KOB-TV LLC, A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

Comment on Facebook



UNM: Cancer deaths expected to rise from delayed screenings

Q & A with state officials on Red to Green reopening plan

Local TikToker boosts business with restaurant reviews

BCSO investigates shooting in South Valley

UNM Project ECHO receives funding to help train health care workers in nursing homes