PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Authorities in Oregon have released security footage of a murder suspect’s escape from a Washington County Courthouse on Feb. 27.
Edi Villalobos, 28, is set to stand trial for allegedly stabbing two people and killing one of them in April 2021, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. He faces several charges including second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon.
Officials say jury selection was taking place on the day of Villalobos’ attempted escape. The jury was out of the room on a break, and Villalobos had just been taken to the bathroom.
Sgt. Danny DiPietro of Washington County Sheriff’s Office said Villalobos was put in restraints before going to the bathroom, but they were removed once the suspect returned to the courtroom, as required by Oregon law.
Just seconds after the shackles were removed, the suspect bolted from the first-floor courtroom and out the front door of the building, surveillance video shows.
Deputies searched for the suspect with help from drones, K-9 units and the local Hillsboro Police Department. Area residents were asked to shelter in place during the search.
After getting tipped off by a neighbor, officials say they found Villalobos hiding under a blanket in an empty apartment he had forced his way into.
When asked if this was a failure on the authorities’ end, DiPietro said no — but it means they should “reassess things.”
“What took place here and evaluation [of the] the actual circumstances in this incident — it could change things,” DiPietro said. “We’re always looking to do better, we can look back at this.”
Villalobos will now face new charges stemming from the escape, DiPietro said.