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Juror flip-flop forces jury to resume deliberations in Efren Carrillo peeking trial

Jurors deciding the fate of Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo could not reach a verdict Friday after about six hours of deliberations and will return after the weekend to continue their work.

The panel was split 11-1 on whether Carrillo, 33, peeked into a woman's apartment in the middle of the night while lurking outside in just his socks and underwear. It was unknown whether they were leaning toward guilt or innocence.

Judge Gary Medvigy encouraged members to forge ahead, saying they shouldn't be afraid to take "a new approach" or adopt a "fresh perspective" in considering the evidence.

"Let me know if I can do anything further to help you," Medvigy said before he released them back into the jury room late Friday afternoon. They were ordered to return Monday morning.

The development came after a day of false starts for the 10-woman, two-man jury that began weighing the evidence after three days of testimony ended late Thursday.

At lunchtime, the panel notified the judge they had reached some sort of verdict, which would be read at 1:30 p.m. But when they returned from the break, they sent another note asking the judge how to proceed if one juror had changed his or her mind.

Medvigy told them to continue deliberating until they reached a "unanimous agreement" or became deadlocked.

Ninety minutes later, there was another setback when the judge learned at least two women jurors had been contacted at the courthouse by a San Francisco TV reporter. Jurors are admonished to not speak to anyone during a trial.

Lawyers on both sides expressed concern about potential juror tampering, and the judge halted deliberations to quiz jurors to assure they could remain unbiased.

One woman explained a journalist approached her in the hallway on Tuesday, asked how she was and what she did for a living. Another woman said a reporter asked if the jury was on a break and if they had a verdict. All said the contact would not impact their ability to be impartial.


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