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Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo's risky decision to take the witness stand helped convince a jury that he did not intend to commit a crime the night he was arrested, half-naked, outside a neighbor's apartment, according to one member of the panel that acquitted him of attempted peeking.

But the details of his late-night boozing and desire to have sex with a near-stranger have fueled calls for the 5th District supervisor to resign, despite his victory in court Monday.

Defense attorney Chris Andrian said he warned Carrillo that his political career could suffer collateral damage if he insisted on testifying in open court about the embarrassing details of his July 13 arrest in his socks and underwear.

"The decision was his," Andrian said Tuesday. "I didn't fight him on it. That's what he wanted to do."

Andrian discussed the legal and political calculus of Carrillo's case one day after his client was cleared of charges by a 10-woman, two-man jury.

Andrian spent months trying to negotiate a settlement with prosecutors that would have averted a trial, but said they were unwilling to reduce the misdemeanor charge of peeking. The charge carried a maximum six-month jail term and was not eligible for diversion, a process that allows first-time offenders to avoid a criminal conviction.

Carrillo could have accepted the prosecution's terms, which would have placed a black mark on his record but kept some details of the case private. Instead, Carrillo and his legal and political advisors decided to fight the charge that the 33-year-old politician peeked into a neighbor's home.

Carrillo made the decision, in part, because he wanted avoid the perception that he got a "backdoor deal" as an elected official, Andrian said. He also wanted to tell his side after being silent so long.

"On a certain level Efren needed to fall on his sword," Andrian said. "It was important as a human being to just put it out there."

Carrillo did not return calls Tuesday seeking comment.

His testimony played a key role in the jury's decision, according to one member of the panel who agreed to discuss the case Tuesday.

After deliberating about three hours, the jury voted unanimously Friday to acquit Carrillo on the main count of peeking into an inhabited dwelling, said Barbara, 63, a west county resident who spoke on condition her last name not be used.

But one of the 10 women on the jury apparently changed her mind over lunch and the panel deadlocked 11-1 on the charge of peeking.

"She said she needed to be able to live with her decision," Barbara said. "And she needed to be true with her beliefs."

The jury broke for deliberations over the weekend but were still deadlocked when they returned Monday. Judge Gary Medvigy then instructed jurors to put aside the charge and consider the lesser charge of attempted peeking. They returned with a not guilty verdict in about 15 minutes.

The hold-out juror went along with the majority without discussion, Barbara said.

She said she didn't like Carrillo's behavior or his testimony but was persuaded he was innocent of peeking by evidence he was going to the woman's house to drink beer and "see what would happen after that."

"That just made sense to me," she said. "Why would he bring beers over?"

Andrian took the jury's decision as validation of his decision to go to trial.

Instead of being persuaded by salacious details, jurors followed the law, apparently agreeing with the defense that there was no evidence showing Carrillo looked into the apartment, Andrian said.

"It tells me my arguments resonated," Andrian said. "You can't be convicted on your own statement. They were lacking independent evidence."

The 10-woman jury helped Carrillo's case, Andrian said. Women jurors are more reflective while men are more judgmental, he said.

Andrian said the most vitriolic comments on news blogs seemed to come from men.

"I have just learned in 40 years of doing this that women are better jurors," he said. "When you see the opportunity to make that happen you take it. In that sense it was deliberate."

Andrian said it was harder to tell if Carrillo's testimony was convincing. The supervisor admitted to jurors his binge drinking and his outsized view of himself that he thought many women shared.

Also, he confessed he had been planning to try to bed his neighbor, whom he barely knew, even as his girlfriend was dropping him off after an evening at a nightclub.

Some observers thought it was foolish of Carrillo to go so far. He also admitted breaking the woman's bedroom screen with his hand.

Even Andrian recalled thinking, "Oh boy," as Carrillo seemed to wither under cross-examination from prosecutor Cody Hunt, who also did not return a call Tuesday.

"It makes him sound like a creep," said longtime criminal defense attorney Steve Turer, who watched part of the trial. "He should have kept his mouth shut."

But others said it might have been a stroke of genius. Santa Rosa defense attorney Marie Case said jurors may sympathize with someone who admits mistakes.

"Any human being with some level of life experience can relate to being drunk and stupid," Case said. "That's really all this was."

Whether the revelations will hurt Carrillo's career is anyone's guess. On Monday night, Supervisor Shirlee Zane called on Carrillo to resign, joining critics who are demanding the second-term supervisor step down with more than two and a half years left in his term.

Tonight, critics will hold a 5 p.m. rally in Old Courthouse Square to denounce Carrillo's behavior.

But Andrian said he believes Carrillo will survive whatever is coming.

"He's withstood the slings and arrows of the criminal court system and come out on top," Andrian said. "Why should he step down now?"

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