By PAUL PAYNE
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo’s trial on misdemeanor peeking charges was pushed back by more than a month Friday after the two sides were unable to meet with the judge to discuss a settlement.
Judge Andria Richey agreed to postpone a scheduled March 7 trial to April 18 because her crowded court docket prevented an in-chambers discussion. She had been expected to indicate a maximum sentence if Carrillo admitted the allegations before trial.
Now, Carrillo’s lawyer and the prosecutor will return Thursday to attempt a closed-door discussion with another judge, Arnold Rosenfield, who will take over for Richey.
Rosenfield could sentence Carrillo to anything from probation to six months in jail upon conviction.
“We haven’t been able to talk to the judge yet,” prosecutor Cody Hunt said outside court. “We’re bumping up against that.”
A partially clad Carrillo, 32, was arrested in the wee hours of July 13 after a Santa Rosa woman called police to report someone outside her bedroom window. In a second 911 call she said someone identifying himself as her neighbor knocked on her door and ran away.
Police arrived to find Carrillo dressed in just his socks and underwear and carrying a cellphone. He was arrested when he couldn’t provide a clear explanation for his behavior.
Officers said they believed Carrillo was attempting a sexual assault. Three months later, prosecutors filed a single misdemeanor charge, saying it was all that was supported by evidence.
A felony conviction would have led to removal from office.
Interim police Chief Hank Schreeder declined a renewed request Friday to release the 911 tapes, citing the ongoing prosecution. He would not say if he’d release the tapes once the case is resolved.
Both sides have since met to discuss a pre-trial settlement for Carrillo, who once was seen as a promising, young Democrat with designs on state office.
The nature of the talks has not been disclosed but they are expected to involve a potential punishment. Carrillo is not likely to get jail because he has no criminal conviction record.
His arrest was the second in a year for the 5th District Supervisor, who was re-elected in 2012 to a second four-year-term. Carrillo was picked up in connection with a fight outside a San Diego nightclub on Labor Day weekend of that year but charges were never filed.
Critics called for him to resign in the aftermath of his Santa Rosa arrest, which Carrillo has suggested was connected to a longtime drinking problem. He checked in to a treatment center after his arrest.
Carrillo has said he has no intention of stepping down.
(You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)