Trial begins for MDC correctional officers charged in inmate’s death
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Vicente Villela died at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center while being restrained in 2019. Keith Brandon and Jonathan Sandoval, MDC correctional officers, are both charged with involuntary manslaughter for Villela’s death.
“Officer Sandoval did this, he put his knee into Vicente’s back, because he was ordered to do so by Lt. Brandon, who gave him the unorthodox order, sit on him,” said Mark Probasco, prosecutor.
However, the defense attorneys said the case is more complicated than what MDC video shows.
Jurors were shown the video as testimony got started Tuesday morning. Prosecutors are relying heavily on the video evidence. Their first witness was the MDC officer who shot the video.
Testimony will continue Wednesday. The trial is expected to last five days.