The moment an accused murderer went sprinting from a courtroom in Oregon was caught on surveillance cameras. Edi Villalobos, 28, was on trial for the murder of 33-year-old Artemio Guzman-Olvera. However, he decided to do a runner during the jury selection process being held at Washington County Courthouse in Hillsboro on February 27.
Two officers escorted Villalobos into the courtroom and sat him in a chair. They then removed his handcuffs and leg shackles, which is standard procedure. This is done to avoid influencing the jury into viewing him as guilty without any proof. However, this went very wrong when he booked it out of the courtroom.
In footage released by the Washington County Sheriff’s Department on Friday, March 10, the suspect can be seen quickly standing and running for the back door of the courtroom. He then runs down the hallway and out a staff-only entrance. Before anyone knew it, Edi Villalobos was gone.
Edi Villalobos thought he was going to get away scot-free
Washington County Sheriff's Office
Authorities then launched a two-hour, city-wide manhunt in order to track him down. Residents were instructed to shelter in place. And while police spotted him twice, a foot chase was unsuccessful both times. Drones, K-9s, and other police departments even joined in on the search.
Finally, a tip-off let officers know that Villalobos was trying to break into an apartment nearby. He was found inside the empty unit, though he did try to hide to avoid being taken back to prison.
He was taken back to Washington County jail to await the restart of his trial. He was previously accused of murder in the second degree, two counts of burglary in the first degree, unlawful use of a weapon, reckless driving, and reckless endangerment. It’s likely there will be some additional charges tacked on this time around.