The case against Keith Brandon and Jonathan Sandoval, the two Metropolitan Detention Center officers charged in the death of an inmate will move forward after attorneys for the two MDC officers asked a judge to dismiss the charges against them.

Brandon and Sandoval are charged with involuntary manslaughter after the death of inmate Vicente Villela in 2019. It all started when officers were trying to move Villela from his cell. According to a previous wrongful death lawsuit, there were at least 11 officers trying to subdue Villela. Court documents say Brandon told Sandoval to sit on Villela. Video shows Sandoval kneeling on Villela’s back and holding down his head while Villela tells officers he cannot breathe. 

Wednesday, attorneys for Brandon and Sandoval asked a judge to dismiss the charges. Arguing Villela’s death can not be attributed to any single officer and that a toxicology report detected high levels of meth in Villela’s system. They argued that could also have contributed to his respiratory problems.

Judge Courtney Weaks denied the motion to have the charges dismissed. The case will now move forward.