Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo will testify at his misdemeanor peeking trial Thursday after Judge Gary Medvigy this afternoon denied a defense motion to dismiss the case.
Carrillo, the 33-year-old 5th District Supervisor, is charged with peeking into the window or door of his neighbor’s Brockhurst Drive home in west Santa Rosa on July 13.
He was standing outside her apartment in his socks and boxer briefs when Santa Rosa police arrived around 3:40 a.m. He was arrested later for prowling and burglary.
The 11 women and three men on the jury, two of whom are alternates, heard two of Carrillo’s recorded interviews with police. On Tuesday, Carrillo’s neighbor, identified only as Jane Doe, gave her account.
She said she was sleeping soundly around 3:30 a.m. when she heard a tearing and scratching sound and rustling blinds at her bedroom window.
Doe said she woke up, went to the living room and saw a “scary, large and muscular” man standing in front of her apartment when she looked out the window.
She testified she woke up two female quests who were spending the weekend, and the three of them armed themselves with butcher knives. The man knocked on the front door, and when she asked who it was he replied, “it’s your neighbor.” Doe said she called police at 3:40 a.m., and again at 3:50 a.m.
Police found the lower left corner of the bedroom window screen was damaged and the window was open enough to allow someone to reach inside. Doe testified that her window was open when she went to sleep.
Carrillo told police during the interviews he was drinking at a downtown Santa Rosa nightclub before he was dropped of at home around 2:30 a.m. He said he was ready to go to bed when he noticed a light in Doe’s apartment was on and he decided to take two Pliny the Elder beers to her apartment.
Carrillo told police he walked to the front door of Doe’s apartment and knocked quietly, then went to the back of the apartment to a sliding glass door where he noticed a light on inside the apartment.
He said he then went back to the front of the house where the bedroom and living room were located and knocked on the front door. He told police he does not remember knocking on Doe’s bedroom window, but it’s possible he did.
Carrillo said when Doe asked, ‘Who is it?’ he replied, ‘It’s Efren, your neighbor.’ He said Doe said ‘Hold on a minute,’ but when he heard a man inside the apartment say, ‘What the hell,’ he left.
He called the decision to go to Doe’s apartment at that hour, “a bad read” and a “misperception.”
Doe and Carrillo had three previous brief encounters before July 13, according to trial testimony.
One was outside Doe’s apartment and another at the Space XXV nightclub on the same day in mid-May, according to Doe’s testimony and Carrillo’s statements to police.
The third encounter was in June when Carrillo went to the back of Doe’s apartment to give her a bottle of wine and welcome her to the neighborhood. Carrillo gave her an air kiss and a hug as he stood on the threshold of the sliding glass door, Doe said. She later told police the incident was “weird and creepy.”
In asking Medvigy to either dismiss the case or acquit Carrillo after the prosecution finished presenting its evidence, defense attorney Chris Andrian said Napa County Deputy District Attorney Cody Hunt did not present any independent evidence Carrillo was seen peeking into a door or window.
Andrian said the only evidence of peeking was Carrillo’s statement that he went to the sliding glass door in back of the apartment and noticed a light was on in the apartment.
“That’s not peeking, but even if it was, where is the independent evidence from witnesses,” Andrian told the judge.
Doe testified she kept the blinds of her apartment closed at night.
“The status of the house was peek-free,” Andrian said.
Hunt said there is substantial circumstantial evidence of peeking to send the case to the jury because the window screen was damaged and the blinds were rustled.
Hunt also said Carrillo told police he went to the back of the house and ‘peeked in the back window.’
“It’s enough just to look into a window or door,” Hunt said in supporting the peeking charge.
Medvigy will include the lesser offense of attempted peeking when he instructs the jury on their verdict options Thursday, Andrian said.
Peeking carries a six-month jail sentence, and the penalty for attempted peeking is three months, Andrian said.
Andrian said Carrillo will testify so the jury “will know the story from his perspective.”
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