s
s
Sections
Sections
Subscribe
You've read 5 of 15 free articles this month.
Get unlimited access to PressDemocrat.com, the eEdition and our mobile app starting at 99 cents per month.
Already a subscriber?
You've read 10 of 15 free articles this month.
Get unlimited access to PressDemocrat.com, the eEdition and our mobile app starting at 99 cents per month.
Already a subscriber?
You've read all of your free articles this month.
Get unlimited access to PressDemocrat.com, the eEdition and our mobile app starting at 99 cents per month.
Already a subscriber?
We've got a special deal for readers like you.
Get unlimited access to PressDemocrat.com, the eEdition and our mobile app starting 99 cents per month and support local journalism.
Already a subscriber?
Thanks for reading! Why not subscribe?
Get unlimited access to PressDemocrat.com, the eEdition and our mobile app starting 99 cents per month and support local journalism.
Already a subscriber?
Want to keep reading? Subscribe today!
Ooops! You're out of free articles. Starting at just 99 cents per month, you can keep reading all of our products and support local journalism.
Already a subscriber?

Carrillo offered his most detailed version yet of the events that led to his early morning foray to his neighbor's home. He insisted he committed no crime, but admitted that drinking influenced his actions in an explanation that appeared at turns, both self-serving and painfully embarrassing.

"I think if I had not been drinking, I would not have gone over there," he said.

Carrillo's testimony was part of a legal gamble to take his case to trial rather than admit the misdemeanor allegation and face a maximum six-month jail sentence. He exposed unflattering personal details, such as his willingness to be unfaithful to his girlfriend and his alcoholism, which he said began at Santa Rosa High School and got worse in college.

In exchange, Carrillo appeared to be hoping for an acquittal. Jurors could also consider a lesser charge of attempted peeking, with a maximum three-month jail sentence.

His lawyer, Chris Andrian, told jurors his client was a "knucklehead" and acted like a "frat boy" but insisted there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Andrian said Carrillo broke a window screen when he tried to knock on it to get his neighbor's attention but did not peer inside.

He warned jurors against convicting Carrillo based on just his statement to police that he "peeked" into her backyard to see if she was awake.

But prosecutor Cody Hunt argued it was clear Carrillo looked into the woman's bedroom window and a sliding-glass door off her back patio.

He grilled Carrillo about his account of the time between when his girlfriend dropped him off at his apartment about 2 a.m. and when he went over to his neighbor's apartment.

"From what I recall, I was dropped off and saw a light on and made the decision to walk over there," Carrillo said.

Hunt also suggested Carrillo had a selective memory about what he did when he got to the woman's apartment. He said Carrillo recalled knocking on her front door and walking through a side gate but couldn't remember details like whether he knocked on her sliding-glass door and how long he spent on her property.

The woman called 911 at 3:40 a.m. and again about 10 minutes later to report a man outside her apartment.

Hunt said in closing arguments that it was unreasonable to believe Carrillo didn't peek into the house, citing the woman's testimony that she was awakened by rustling window blinds and Carrillo's own statements that he saw the window was open.

"He tells you, 'I saw the window open,'" Hunt said. "Ladies and gentlemen, how can he tell you the window was open if he didn't look in the window?"

Carrillo took the stand on the third day of testimony before a courtroom packed with observers and news media.

He briefly described his work history and election to the Board of Supervisors in 2008 at the age of 27. He went on to disclose a problem with binge drinking and a habit of weekend consumption of alcohol although he said it was not an excuse for his behavior.

Carrillo was arrested on Labor Day in 2012 after a street brawl outside a San Diego nightclub. Prosecutors did not press charges. He later admitted he would have handled the confrontation differently if he had been sober.

On the night of the July incident last year, Carrillo said he had been at two public functions — at Kunde Family Estate winery in Kenwood and Sonoma Academy — before going with his girlfriend, Yolanda Alvarez, to a downtown Santa Rosa nightclub, Space XXV.

The two stayed until closing before Alvarez drove him home to his West Third Street apartment and dropped him off in the shared alleyway with his neighbor, identified in court only as Jane Doe. He was thinking about sex with his neighbor even as his girlfriend drove him home from the bar, he said.

Carrillo said he got undressed when he entered his apartment, describing it as his normal routine. Carrillo said he walked over to his neighbor's home to "engage" with the woman and continue drinking, grabbing a couple of Pliny the Elder beers from his refrigerator.

Under questioning from Andrian, Carrillo admitted he barely knew his neighbor. He explained he met her when she moved in a few months before, had walked into her fenced-in backyard to bring her wine and spoke to her another time at Space XXV.

He explained under cross-examination that he had an inflated self-opinion and thought his neighbor and other women shared his perspective.

"You were feeling pretty good about yourself back then on July 13, 2013, fair?" said Hunt.

"I think that's an understatement," said Carrillo. "I was feeling more than pretty good. I had a big ego, I was self-centered. I was selfish. Everything that I was doing at the time, was 'How could it benefit Efren?'"

"You thought you could just do whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted, with any woman you wanted, right?'" Hunt asked.

"Yes," said Carrillo, nodding his head with downcast eyes.

Carrillo said he first knocked on his neighbor's front door that morning and then went around to the back patio when he saw a light. Then he said he went back to the front door and knocked again.

Carrillo admitted he stuck his hand through the screen on the nearby bedroom window while attempting to knock on it.

On Tuesday, the neighbor testified she was terrified when Carrillo ripped the screen on her bedroom window, rousing her from her sleep. The woman, who said she did not recognize Carrillo, awoke two girlfriends who were spending the night and called 911. The women armed themselves with kitchen knives while waiting for police to arrive.

Carrillo said he left when he heard what he thought was a man's voice inside.

Prosecutors pointed to differences between his testimony Thursday and statements to police that night. Hunt questioned him about whether Carrillo put his hand in the bedroom window and used his cellphone camera. He asked what made Carrillo think his neighbor wanted him to visit her in the early morning hours.

"I had my own reality," he said. "She did nothing."

Police found Carrillo nearby and arrested him. Prosecutors showed the jury a photograph of the half-naked politician, his hands in cuffs, sitting in the back of a police car. Carrillo said the moment made him realize he was "out of control."

"I realized my behavior had caught up with me. I realized my alcohol had caught up with me. I realized I had been caught with my pants down."