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Efren Carrillo's lawyer: Evidence does not support prowling, burglary

A lawyer for Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo on Monday suggested the young politician was hoping to share beers with a neighbor around 3a.m. shortly before he was arrested on suspicion of prowling and burglary outside the woman's residence.

The assertion, two days after Carrillo was detained early Saturday in just his socks and underwear, provides a counterpoint to police suspicion that the incident had the marks of an attempted sexual assault.

It came as Santa Rosa police provided additional details from their completed investigation, including finding signs of forced entry at the woman's residence and her report that she saw a shirtless man — later identified as Carrillo — outside.

Efren Carrillo In Court

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The state Attorney General's Office took over the case from local prosecutors Monday and must now decide whether to file charges against Carrillo, a rising Latino star in the Democratic Party who had been considering a run for the state Legislature.

Carrillo, 32, was arrested on suspicion of burglary, a felony and prowling, a misdemeanor. If charged and convicted of a felony he would lose his job under a state government code covering elected officials. Gov. Jerry Brown would appoint a replacement.

Carrillo, who represents the west county, has checked into an alcohol treatment facility and is expected to be away from his job for up to a month. In a brief written response Saturday to his arrest, Carrillo said he has a drinking problem. He has not offered any further public comment.

Inside the Sonoma County administration center Monday, employees expressed shock at the arrest. County administrators sought to keep the matter at arm's length.

While Carrillo is a top county official, his arrest and treatment "really doesn't involve us," said County Administrator Veronica Ferguson. "It's a personal issue. It isn't a county business issue."

His supporters and advisers have not denied his involvement in what they've characterized as an embarrassing and "foolish" incident, one they say was fueled by his alcohol problem.

His defense attorney, Chris Andrian, said Carrillo was "carrying a couple of beers," suggesting he might have been seeking to have a drink with the woman shortly before she called 911 at 3:40 a.m.


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