Progressive Rule Forcing Bailiffs to Unshackle Murder Suspect Allows Him to Escape Court

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Edi Villalobos Jr., 28, is accused of murder and numerous other felonies and was in court on February 28 where he sprints out the courtroom’s employees-only exit door, with bailiffs immediately taking off after the accused murderer as he made good his escape. Villalobos was recaptured several hours later. 

HILLSBORO, OR – A wild surveillance video clip captured inside an Oregon courtroom shows a murder suspect fleeing from the chamber and escaping after he was unshackled by bailiffs, who were forced to do so by a controversial new progressive state law that ultimately placed the public in danger until he was recaptured several hours later. 

Edi Villalobos Jr., 28, is accused of murder and numerous other felonies and was in court on February 28 for the first day of his trial. However, after having his hand and foot shackles removed by bailiffs before standing before the court at the start of the proceedings, Villalobos – as seen on just-released surveillance video – instead sprints out the courtroom’s employees-only exit door, with bailiffs immediately taking off after the accused murderer as he made good his escape. 

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement, blaming the suspect’s escape on the new Oregon law that mandates that the bonds securing the allegedly dangerous criminal be removed. 

“Per Oregon law, the deputies removed all restraints from Villalobos during the jury selection process,” the statement said. “At around 11 a.m., the court took a break, and restraints were placed back on Villalobos. When the break ended, deputies again removed all restraints from Villalobos, as directed by Oregon Law.” 

Sheriff’s deputies conducted a massive manhunt that lasted for nearly two hours, finally locating Villalobos hiding in a Hillsboro apartment after receiving a tip from a neighbor who had called 911 after hearing someone attempting to break in. Responding deputies then found the suspect and placed him under arrest, according to the Sheriff’s Office. 

“Deputies entered the apartment and located Villalobos hiding in a closet underneath a blanket,” the sheriff said. 

While awaiting his trial date for his murder case, Villalobos continued to acquire additional charges while sitting in jail, including unlawful possession of a weapon by an inmate and distributing contraband, as per court records. 

After being recaptured, he received additional charges of felony burglary and escaping custody, officials say. 

Villalobos is due back in court March 21 for a status hearing. His murder trial, which was temporarily cancelled upon his escape, will be rescheduled for the near future. 

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