SANTA ROSA (CBS SF)— Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo said, “I feel like a member of this community again” after a jury deadlocked 11-1 on a misdemeanor peeking charge and acquitted him of attempted peeking in his neighbor’s apartment.
The 5th District supervisor said he disappointed members of his family and circle of friends but said he will have a chance to regain that trust.
Carrillo, 33, said he made “a terrible, terrible mistake” and is sorry for the pain he caused his neighbor, friends, family and the people who elected him to office.
He was charged with looking into the bedroom window and rear sliding glass door of his female neighbor’s Brockhurst Drive apartment in west Santa Rosa around 3:30 a.m. on July 13. During his testimony at the trial, Carrillo denied looking into any window of the apartment.
The 10 women and two men started deliberating Friday and at 4:20 p.m., they told Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Gary Medvigy they were deadlocked 11-1 on the peeking charge. They were instructed to resume deliberations Monday and returned at 10:45 a.m.
At 2 p.m., the jurors said they still couldn’t unanimously agree on the peeking charge and told Medvigy further deliberations would be of no help.
The judge then instructed the jurors to deliberate on a lesser offense of misdemeanor attempted peeking, which requires a specific intent to peek. The panel resumed deliberations around 2:45 p.m. and found Carrillo not guilty of attempted peeking at 3 p.m.
Carrillo showed no emotion as the court clerk read the verdicts.
His attorney Chris Andrian said the hung jury on the peeking count and the acquittal for attempted peeking is “in effect an acquittal on both counts.”
Napa County Deputy District Attorney Cody Hunt, who prosecuted the case with the state Attorney General’s Office, declined to comment after the verdict.
It remains unclear if Carrillo can be retried on the peeking charge. Medvigy did not dismiss the peeking charge or declare a mistrial on that count.
Early on the morning of July 13, Carrillo’s neighbor—identified in the trial only as Jane Doe—called police after she heard a scratching and scraping sound at her bedroom window and knocking on her front door.
Doe testified the incident so frightened her and her two female guests that they armed themselves with butcher knives. She said Carrillo did not identify himself as her neighbor.
During the six-day trial, Carrillo testified he went to Doe’s apartment dressed only in his socks and underwear and with two beers, his cellphone 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 said he identified himself as ‘Efren, your neighbor,’ when he knocked.
Both Carrillo and Doe testified they had three previous brief encounters, but Doe said they did not have a romantic relationship.
Police initially arrested Carrillo for prowling and attempted burglary, but he was charged with misdemeanor peeking into an inhabited dwelling.
Carrillo testified he had “an over-inflated opinion” of himself and thought Jane Doe “looked at me from my own perspective.”
“I felt I was on top of the world,” Carrillo said in his testimony.
He said he was young and had been elected and re-elected county supervisor. He said he had a big ego, was self-centered and selfish.
“I thought I could do anything I wanted,” he said. “I had my own reality.”
“I made a huge mistake,” Carrillo said.
He admitted Jane Doe did nothing to indicate she was interested in a relationship and that he had “crossed boundaries.”
Rosanne T. Darling, Jane Doe’s attorney, did not immediately return calls for comment Monday afternoon.
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