Watch: Murder Suspect Knows Exactly What He Can Do When State Law Forces Deputies to Uncuff Him
An Oregon homicide defendant made a quick exit from a courtroom in a wild escape caught on camera.
Edi Villalobos Jr, 28, bolted for the courtroom exit shortly after Washington County Sheriff’s Department deputies unlocked his shackles before jury selection proceedings on Feb. 28.
Video of the escape reveals Villalobos Jr. outrunning deputies, running down a hallway, and making it out the door of the Washington County Courthouse in Hillsboro, Oregon. While the incident occurred in February, the sheriff’s office only made the video available publicly Thursday.
Camera footage of the daring escape showed a chaotic scene.
The murder defendant shot through a door that was unblocked by law enforcement.
The escape attempt could even be described as mildly successful, given that Villalobos Jr. was ultimately loose for the duration of a two-hour manhunt, according to KSAZ-TV.
@HillsboroPolice and deputies are activly searching for Edi Villalobos. Villalobos was in the Washington County Court House for a trial related numerous charges, including murder in the second degree, when he ran out. If you see Villalobos, call 911, do not approach him pic.twitter.com/zVRciGS3yQ
— Washington County Sheriff’s Office (Oregon) (@WCSOOregon) February 27, 2023
The suspect was eventually captured after an area resident called 911, reporting a stranger attempting to break into an apartment.
“Deputies entered the apartment and located Villalobos hiding in a closet underneath a blanket,” the agency indicated.
#BREAKING: The @WCSOOregon have arrested Edi Villalobos. He is now in custody. @fox12oregon pic.twitter.com/7QSoZIRMlZ
— Connor McCarthy (@conr_mccarthy) February 27, 2023
Some viewers were perplexed that Villalobos Jr. wasn’t adequately restrained to prevent an escape.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office pointed to an Oregon law that requires defendants to be unshackled in courtrooms during proceedings, according to KSAZ.
“Per Oregon law, the deputies removed all restraints from Villalobos during the jury selection process,” the agency indicated.
“At around 11 a.m., the court took a break, and restraints were placed back on Villalobos. When the break ended, deputies again removed all restraints from Villalobos, as directed by Oregon Law.”
Villalobos Jr. is facing two new charges of first-degree burglary, as well as a count of second-degree escape in connection to his courthouse actions. Villalobos Jr. was accused of murder and several other felonies before the escape attempt.
The start of the escapee’s trial was delayed in the wake of the incident. He’s slated for another court appearance on Mar. 21.
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