Murder suspect sprints out of courtroom after sheriff removes restraints
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Featured Image Credit: Washington County Sheriff's Office
The moment a murder suspect escaped a courtroom and fled, resulting in a large scale police manhunt, was captured on security cameras.
You can watch the dramatic scenes below:
Edi Villalobos, 28, who was charged with the 2021 murder of 33-year-old Artemio Guzman-Olvera, escaped the Washington County Courthouse during the jury selection process on 27 February.
Security cameras inside the courthouse were recording as two officers escorted the alleged murderer into the courtroom before they sat him down in a chair.
He faced several charges including murder in the second degree, two counts of burglary in the first degree, unlawful use of a weapon, reckless driving and reckless endangerment.
Both his leg shackles and handcuffs were removed as per state law. Accused individuals must be unshackled while in front of a jury to avoid influencing the jurors’ decision.
However no jurors were in the courtroom when Villalobos escaped the courtroom.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Department in Hillsboro, Oregon, released the tense footage on Friday (10 March).
It didn’t take long for Villalobos to try and escape as he swiftly stood up and ran for the door in the back of the courtroom. Wearing black slacks, a blue shirt and black trousers, he raced through the first-floor hallway out a staff-only entrance as two deputies chased after him.
Re-capturing the accused criminal was no easy feat as a two-hour manhunt ensued following his escape.
A shelter-in-place message was broadcasted out to local residents as Villalobos was on the loose.
Law enforcement had seen Villalobos twice which led to foot pursuits but he was able to avoid capture both times.
Drones, K-9 units and two local police departments helped in the sheriff’s deputies search for the man.
Police were fortunate to get a tip by a resident in an apartment complex on the 300 block of Southeast 4th Avenue, about a man attempting to break into a property.
Law enforcement found Villalobos in an empty apartment where he tried to avoid being taken back into custody by hiding from cops.
Villalobos’ trial for the stabbing of Guzman-Olvera on 10 April 2021 was originally scheduled to take place in early March. The trial was also set to examine a second stabbing that left another man in a critical condition.
He has since been returned to Washington County jail following his arrest where he is now awaiting the restart of his trial.