Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo will not face a felony charge from his Aug. 20 arrest for trying to break into a woman's bedroom at 3am wearing only his socks and underwear, according to paperwork filed today by prosecutor Cody Hunt of the Napa District Attorney’s Office. Instead, he faces a single misdemeanor count of "peeking," which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
“My client is relieved that Efren Carrillo is finally being brought to justice,” says Rosanne Darling, the lawyer for the unidentified victim in the case, “but she is disappointed because… the charge seems inadequate for what she went through that night.” Speaking today on the phone, she added that her client was “terrified” and says, “this has changed her life forever.” Darling also notes that the rumor of a relationship between Carrillo and her client, romantic or otherwise, is “simply rubbish.” They were neighbors, she says, but “barely know each other.”
Darling, a prosecutor with the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office before leaving this summer for private practice, sounded disappointed with the charges as well, especially after so many delays granted to the prosecutor to allow him to gather evidence to build his case. “There are homicides that are filed quicker than this,” she says. “As a former prosecutor, if all you’re bringing is a misdemeanor charge, it seems odd that it would take you three full continuances to come to this decision.”
The Napa DA’s office, which was assigned to the case by the state Attorney General, has a conviction rate of almost 84 percent for felonies in the past three years, and over 90 percent for misdemeanors in the same period. According to statistics from the Grand Jury Foundation, that’s among the highest in the state, and near the top of all counties in the Bay Area.
Carrillo does not have to register as a sex offender, despite being found wearing only his underwear and socks at 3am. He will be formally arraigned tomorrow morning.
Little did he know that two Sheriff’s deputies on a routine patrol would spot him holding the pellet gun in his left hand and see it as a real AK-47. Little did he know that those deputies would call dispatch to report him as a suspicious person. Little did he know that those deputies would park their car at the intersection of Moorland Avenue and West Robles and take cover behind the doors. Little did he know that they would order him to drop the gun with their own weapons drawn, aimed to kill. Little did he know that as he turned to his right, one of the deputies would fire on him within seconds, later saying that he feared for his life. Little did Andy know that he would die on that sidewalk; the fatal shots entered through the right side of his chest and the other to his right hip, though in the end, he was shot at least seven times, once in the right buttock.
Andy Lopez was 13 years old. He played in the school band. He was popular and well loved at his school, evident in the hundreds of students and teachers that have turned out for daily protests and vigils since the killing happened on Tuesday afternoon at 3:15pm. His death has gained international attention, stirring up not only intense outrage, but a renewed call for a civilian review board, or a statewide watchdog, or some sort of independent contractor to oversee the investigation. As it stands, the Santa Rosa Police Department will conduct the investigation of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department. Since 2000 in Sonoma County, not once has an officer of the law been charged with wrongdoing when a suspect has ended up dead on the ground. Will this case be any different?
A vigil on Thursday night, at the spot where Andy came to a violent end, drew hundreds. I attended with my nearly nine-month-old daughter wrapped close to me in her baby carrier. I kissed her head often and gave thanks for her warmth against me. We set zinnias and roses cut from our garden on the memorial and looked at photos of the handsome, smiling boy from Cook Middle School. People lit candles and prayed, others simply stared at the altar for hours, trying to make sense of the senseless. Aztec dancers performed on the site and conducted a prayer ritual in Spanish for the safe flight of Andy’s soul.
A contingent of middle-school kids—friends and peers of Andy—marched for at least a mile, from Roseland to Moorland, chanting “Justice for Andy” and “Fuck the Police.” They arrived at the field, at the memorial, during the prayer, led by a man who said, “Somos todos Andy Lopez” as the smell of ritual incense burned in the air and a guitar strummed softly in the background. I stood amongst them, thinking about how incredibly young they all looked, still children, just like Andy. They held signs and flowers and balloons and stayed long into the cold night, in that field, wondering how this happened, and wondering when it would happen again.
An eighth-grader who attended Cook Middle School in Santa Rosa was fatally shot in South Santa Rosa by Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputies Tuesday afternoon after failing to comply with deputies’ orders to drop what turned out to be a replica assault rifle, Sheriff's deputies said.
The shooting took place at Moorland and West Robles avenues just after 3pm. Two deputies saw a male subject with what looked like an AK-47-style assault rifle. Deputies say they repeatedly ordered the 13 year-old to drop the gun. When he did not comply, deputies fired several rounds, striking him several times. Unresponsive, the boy was handcuffed before deputies requested emergency medical assistance. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
The boy was identified in the Press Democrat as 13-year-old Andy Lopez. After he had been shot, deputies discovered the weapon he had been carrying was a replica. He also had a plastic handgun in the waistband of his pants, deputies said. He reportedly lived in the area with his family.
This is the third officer-involved shooting in Sonoma County this year. The investigation will be handled by the Santa Rosa and Petaluma police departments, in addition to the District Attorney’s Office.
Officials from the Santa Rosa Police Department did not immediately return calls seeking comment Wednesday morning.
The attorney for the woman involved complained about the delays, suggesting the motivation might be political. Hunt denied the allegations. Carrillo’s attorney, Chris Andrian, denied political motivation and said that he’s “taking [prosecutors] at face value.”
This morning's postponement marks the third time charges have been delayed for the supervisor. Medvigy originally heard the case on July 18, and agreed to an initial postponement to Aug. 30. On Aug. 30, Judge Julie Conger allowed a postponement to today's date, Oct. 11, stating clearly, "I’m expecting a complaint to be filed at that time. No further delays, please.”
Carrillo was arrested on July 13 when a woman called 911 twice to report someone outside her home at 3:40am in Santa Rosa. Someone had tried to break into her bedroom window, and Carrillo was arrested in his underwear and socks on suspicion of burglary and prowling. Police at the time said they suspected Carrillo of attempted sexual assault. After posting bail, he reportedly checked himself into an alcohol treatment facility. Carrillo returned to the Board of Supervisors on Aug. 20 to harsh criticism from his fellow board members and the public.