Breaking News
More () »

Video shows murder suspect's escape from Hillsboro courthouse

Edi Villalobos, 28, was on the loose for several hours after eluding his guards at a court hearing and sprinting out of the building.

HILLSBORO, Ore. — 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.

WATCH: Murder suspect escapes courthouse 

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 that the deputies guarding Villalobos immediately got on their radios and notified dispatch what was happening. Other deputies and Hillsboro police officers quickly began a search and set up a perimeter. They also requested that TriMet suspend pickup services in the area so Villalobos couldn't get away.

Twice, WCSO said that law enforcement spotted Villalobos during the search 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.

According to WCSO spokesman Sgt. Danny DiPietro, the agency is conducting an after-action review of the incident.

"Lessons learned will be addressed through training," he said. "Additionally, our March in-service training has begun and already includes training based on the escape that occurred on Feb. 27."

The internal review will take several weeks to complete, DiPietro said, and won't involve any external or independent parties. In the meantime, the two deputies who were guarding Villalobos remain on regular duty.

DiPietro briefly noted that, though Oregon law requires law enforcement to remove restraints during court proceedings, prosecutors can petition the court to allow restraints to remain on if there is a perceived security risk. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out