Juror Changes Vote In Sonoma County Supervisor Peeking Trial, Deliberations Continue
SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — The jury at Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo’s peeking trial deadlocked 11-1 on the charge of peeking on Friday, but they will continue deliberating in Sonoma County Superior Court Monday morning.
The jury has been instructed to consider a charge of attempted peeking, a lesser offense, if it cannot reach a verdict or finds Carrillo not guilty of peeking.
The peeking charge carries a maximum six-month sentence, and the maximum for attempted peeking is three months.
Carrillo, 33, is charged with looking into the bedroom window and rear sliding glass door of his female neighbor’s west Santa Rosa apartment around 3:30 a.m. on July 13. During his testimony he denied looking into any window of the apartment.
His neighbor, identified as Jane Doe, called police after she heard a scratching and scraping sound at her bedroom and when Carrillo knocked on her front door.
Carrillo testified he went to Doe’s Brockhurst Drive apartment, dressed in his socks and underwear, carrying two beers, his cell phone and hopes of having sex with her.
He testified he did put his hand through Doe’s bedroom window and did knock on her front door, but he said he identified himself as ‘Efren, your neighbor,’ when he knocked.
Doe testified the incident so frightened her and her two female guests that they armed themselves with butcher knives.
Both Carrillo and Doe testified they had three previous brief encounters, but Doe said they did not have a romantic relationship.
Police arrested Carrillo for prowling and burglary, but he was charged with one count of misdemeanor peeking into an inhabited dwelling.
What became a bizarre first day of deliberations began at 9 a.m. Friday. The panel had questions about photos of the damaged screen on Doe’s bedroom window.
Word came during the lunch break that the jury had reached a verdict and that it would be read at 1:30 p.m.
At that time Judge Gary Medvigy then announced he had received a note minutes earlier from the jury foreperson informing him one of the jurors who had signed the verdict form had changed his or her mind, and the vote was no longer unanimous. The judge directed the panel to resume deliberations.
Around 3 p.m., Medvigy learned that a member of the media had contacted at least two jurors, a judicial prohibition he called contempt of court.
The incident came to light when one of the jurors asked a bailiff to escort the panel from the courthouse whenever they leave because some of them had been approached by the media on the lunch break Friday and on Monday or Tuesday.
“I’m gravely disappointed by the lack of professionalism with the press, or at least with one member of the press,” Medvigy said.
Medvigy directed the jury to suspend deliberations while he queried each juror individually in the courtroom.
Nearly all the jurors said they heard a television reporter had contacted some jurors, and at least three of them said the reporter contacted them.
In one incident a juror was asked if it had reached a verdict. Another juror said a man approached her and said, ‘We’re on pins and needle down here.’
Another juror said the reporter asked another juror questions about her job and also exchanged “niceties” with another juror.
All the jurors said the incidents would not prevent them from reaching an unbiased verdict, and Medvigy instructed them to resume deliberations.
The panel’s foreperson sent Medvigy a note around 4:15 p.m. that it was unable to reach a verdict on the peeking charge, and that further instructions or read-back of testimony would not break the 11-1 deadlock.
The jurors deliberated until 4:40 p.m. before leaving for the day.
They will return at 10:45 a.m. Monday.
Carrillo’s attorney Chris Andrian declined to comment on the 11-1 deadlock on the peeking count.
“We’ll have to wait to see what happens,” he said.
Napa County Deputy District Attorney Cory Hunt would not comment on the deadlock.
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