HILLSBORO, Ore. (KGW) — An accused murderer’s brazen escape from the Washington County Courthouse last Monday was captured on security video now made public by the county sheriff’s office.
Edi Villalobos, 28, was arrested back in April 2021 after he allegedly stabbed two men at separate locations, killing one of them. He appeared in court last week for jury selection ahead of a coming murder trial.
Villalobos was escorted back into the courtroom just before 11:15 a.m. February 27 after using the bathroom, according to a spokesman for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. The two deputies assigned to Villalobos removed the restraints from his hands and legs, a requirement under Oregon law during any trial proceeding.
The courtroom video shows that Villalobos, dressed in a collared shirt and slacks instead of jail attire, got up and made as if to sit down in a chair behind the defense table. Under the eyes of the two deputies, he suddenly took off and ran toward the courtroom door — soon pursued by first one deputy, then the next.
Skidding out the courtroom door, Villalobos ran down the hallway outside and through a door to a short stairwell, then through a set of “staff only” doors leading outside — nearly knocking over an unsuspecting woman who had just walked in front of the doors.
The courthouse video ends with Villalobos’ escape outside. Though the two deputies are not far behind him, he apparently managed to evade them once outside.
WCSO said in a press briefing later that day that deputies and Hillsboro police immediately began a search and set up a perimeter. They asked TriMet to suspend pickup services in the area so Villalobos couldn’t get away. Twice, law enforcement spotted him and engaged in a short foot pursuit but each time Villalobos was able to escape.
About two hours later, the sheriff’s office got a tip about someone trying to break into an unoccupied apartment. Deputies arrived and entered through a back door that had apparently been broken open, reportedly finding Villalobos hiding in a closet within a back bedroom.
Villalobos was taken back into custody. His trial was suspended and re-scheduled out to the end of September. He now faces two counts of first-degree burglary and one count of second-degree escape on top of the charges from his original murder case.
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