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Attorney: Efren Carrillo peeking case headed to trial

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    PC: Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo talks with supporters following his hearing in Sonoma County Superior Court in Santa Rosa on Friday, October 11, 2013. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

Embattled Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo will go to trial rather than seek a plea bargain in his misdemeanor peeking case, in part to dispel any notion that he is receiving special treatment as an elected official, his lawyer said Tuesday.

"Whatever settlement he might make would be looked upon as a backdoor deal," attorney Chris Andrian said. "Efren would rather put it out to a jury of his peers and let them decide. That way he's clear of that."

The new stance — which follows months of failed negotiations — comes as both sides return to court Wednesday to announce whether they have reached a resolution or will go to trial. Friday is the scheduled trial date.

Carrillo, who has pleaded not guilty, declined comment Tuesday.

Special prosecutor Cody Hunt said he's ready for trial but will ask for more time because he is in an ongoing trial in Napa County. When it ends later this week he said he is ready to start Carrillo's trial.

He wouldn't discuss the status of any pre-trial negotiations.

But he defended the length of time it has taken so far. A partially clad Carrillo was arrested in July outside a Santa Rosa woman's home and charged in October.

"The case hasn't really taken that long," Hunt said. "There was a delay in the initial filing because we wanted to do a thorough investigation. Since then it has proceeded on a very normal schedule."

But others said the pace isn't reasonable considering the simplicity. Attorney Rosanne Darling, a former Sonoma County sex crimes prosecutor who represents the woman who called 911 to report someone outside her window, said her client is entitled to a swift resolution under Marsy's Law, the state's victims' rights law.

"It's coming up on a year," Darling said. "What's up with that?"

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