A murder suspect managed to escape from an Oregon courthouse after sheriff’s deputies unshackled him, according to shocking surveillance footage.
Ed Villalobos, 28, was scheduled to stand trial on February 27 for allegedly stabbing his mother’s partner and another unrelated man two hours later, before leading police on a pursuit that lasted hours back in 2021.
However, after a sheriff’s deputy unshackled his wrist and ankle restraints, as required under Oregon’s woke laws, Villalobos pushed a chair in and ran out of the courtroom. He made his way through the hall and past the Staff Only doors.
Deputies had left a clear, obvious route of escape, and police only caught up with him after a two-hour-long manhunt, when someone reported that a man was trying to break into an apartment. Villalobos is now back in custody and will face additional charges for his attempt to flee.
Surveillance footage from the Washington County Courthouse shows how the suspect was led down a hallway to the first-floor courtroom where his hearing was scheduled. Inside, the male deputy patted him down and removed his wrist shackles, after which Villalobos took a seat so the deputy could remove his ankle restraints as well.
However, as soon as the shackles were off, Villalobos made a dash for it, sprinting out of the courtroom and pushing past a woman as he ran. He nearly tackled a man as he fled through the Staff Only door, before slamming it behind him.
Despite the sheriff’s deputies pursuing him, Villalobos was able to evade them for two hours, until someone reported that a man was trying to break into an apartment in the 300 block of Southeast Fourth Avenue. Deputies searched the home and found Villalobos hiding in a closet underneath a blanket. He was taken back into custody, and a grand jury indicted him on charges related to his escape.
Villalobos’ trial has since been postponed to a later date. He is accused of stabbing Artemio Guzman-Olvera, 33, whom his mother was dating, in April 2021 and fleeing the scene in a car. About two hours later, he allegedly stabbed Saul Antonio Ramirez Aguierre, 26, at an apartment complex, before leading police on a pursuit.
With the help of multiple law enforcement agencies, Villalobos was eventually arrested and jailed. However, he was able to escape the courthouse, which has now sparked an investigation into the incident. The Washington County Sheriff’s Department later stated that they followed Oregon’s laws when it came to unshackling Villalobos.