Family reacts to charges against MDC officers accused in death of inmate

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The family of an MDC inmate killed in custody says the charges against two of the guards involved are not enough. Vicente Villela was pinned down by 11 officers at MDC in 2019 following his arrest on a burglary charge.

The case came under renewed scrutiny last year, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis then this week, two of the guards Lt. Keith Brandon and Officer Jonathan Sandoval were charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Guadalupe Mota was pregnant with the couple’s second child when Villela was killed. She says she was hoping to see murder charges. “We want all COs accountable, not just two, all of them. And we want a high penalty, not 18 months that they’re going to receive. There’s no justice for him. It’s just not what we wanted,” said Mota.

The two officers facing charges are on leave.

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