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Plea negotiations continue in Efren Carrillo's peeking case

  • Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo talks with supporters following a hearing in Sonoma County Superior Court in Santa Rosa in 2013. (PD FILE, 2013)

Plea bargaining continued Friday in Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo’s misdemeanor peeking case but a pre-trial settlement remains at least a week away.

The two sides appeared in court and have exchanged offers to resolve the charge stemming from Carrillo’s early morning arrest last summer outside a Santa Rosa woman’s home.

The charge carries a maximum six-month jail sentence.

But so far, there is no agreement. Judge Andria Richey will hold a closed-door meeting next Friday with prosecutors and Carrillo's attorney to see if a deal can be made.

Neither side would disclose the nature of the talks so far.

“I made a proposal and he made a proposal also,” prosecutor Cody Hunt said outside court Friday. “He needs to consult with his client.”

Hunt said his suggestion includes potential jail time. Under the law, a conviction on a misdemeanor in the state's peeping statute could include probation and counseling.

Carrillo's lawyer, Chris Andrian, said only that he has made a counter offer which Hunt must now take to supervisors in the state Attorney General's Office. He wouldn't say what it is.

Meanwhile, Carrillo's trial remains set for March 7.

Carrillo was arrested July 13 after a woman living near Stony Point and West Third Street called police about 3:40 a.m. to report someone outside her bedroom window. She said she was awakened by the sound of moving window blinds.

In a second call to 911, the woman said someone identifying himself as a neighbor knocked on her door and ran away.

A partially clothed Carrillo was detained by officers nearby. He was arrested on suspicion of felony burglary and prowling when he couldn't provide a clear explanation for his behavior.

Police at the time believed he was attempting a sexual assault, pointing to a torn window screen.

Carrillo bailed and went into seclusion for five weeks, seeking treatment at an alcohol rehabilitation center.

When he returned to the Board of Supervisors in August, he disclosed a longtime binge drinking problem.

Prosecutors last fall filed the lone misdemeanor charge. A felony conviction would have led to removal from office.

In December Carrillo pleaded not guilty.

His sharpest critics have called on him to resign.

You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or paul.payne@pressdemocrat.com

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