Jury selection will begin Monday in Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo’s misdemeanor peeking trial and witness testimony should start mid-week, a judge said Wednesday.
The schedule was set as both sides in Carrillo’s much-publicized criminal case announced they could not reach a settlement and were prepared to try the matter in court.
Judge Gary Medvigy ordered Carrillo’s lawyer and a prosecutor for the state Attorney General to appear Friday to argue any pre-trial motions. They would return Monday to begin the task of selecting impartial jurors to hear an estimated two days of testimony.
Finding people who haven’t heard about the case could be the biggest challenge. The facts alone appear straightforward, Medvigy suggested.
“It doesn’t look like it is the most complicated of cases to come through,” he said.
Carrillo, 33, is charged with looking into a woman’s house in a pre-dawn incident last summer. He was arrested after the woman twice called 911 just before 4 a.m. to report someone at her bedroom window and knocking on her front door.
Police responding to her calls found Carrillo nearby, dressed in just socks and underwear. At the time, Carrillo was suspected of attempting a sexual assault and was booked on felony burglary and prowling.
Prosecutors later reduced the charges against the 5th District supervisor after a police investigation. He faces up to six months in jail if convicted.
Carrillo, who has pleaded not guilty, has blamed his behavior on a drinking problem. He’s rejected calls from his critics to step down.
Since last fall, his lawyer, Chris Andrian, has been trying to plea bargain the case. But the two sides reached an impasse, possibly over the charge or potential punishment.
On Wednesday, Andrian said he was prepared to go forward. He told the judge he was reviewing new evidence that suggests Carrillo and the woman had met twice before, including one time in a bar accompanied by other people. He said outside court the second meeting was at her home.
Andrian seemed to be laying the groundwork for testimony that the two were not total strangers.
Prosecutor Joyce Blair cautioned against making assumptions about the nature of any meetings. She told the judge the two recognized each other as neighbors at the bar. She also requested the woman be referred to as “Jane Doe,” despite the lack of sex crime allegations.
Medvigy is expected to decide that and other issues, as well as settle on a jury questionnaire, on Friday.