Carlevato jury still out

Gregory Crofton

Having reached a verdict on five counts of the 10 counts filed against Edwin Carlevato, jurors said Tuesday at 3 p.m. they needed to review testimony before voting on all 10.

The jury of eight women and four men did not reveal their verdict regarding the five counts. Those charges accuse the defendant of kidnapping and raping a 51-year-old woman at gunpoint.

In court, the 51-year-old from South Shore identified Carlevato, former poker room supervisor at Jackson Rancheria Casino, as her attacker. She testified that the 47-year-old defendant kidnapped her the night of Oct. 30, 1999, as she was walking home from work on Aspen Avenue.

The woman said Carlevato drove her out to Blue Lakes Road, a remote area in Alpine County, tied her wrists together and raped her in the back of his station wagon. Deputies testified that a man driving by found the woman hysterical and in fear for her life at the intersection of Blue Lakes Road and State Route 88.

El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Jerald Lasarow said the jury could review testimony of the defendant, a 34-year-old victim and three El Dorado County detectives who worked the case.

Prosecutors argued during the 12-day trial that Carlevato forced the 34-year-old woman to orally copulate him at gunpoint. A deputy testified that he found her stranded on State Route 89 the night of July 10, 1999. Three of the five counts the jury has not voted on are related to that alleged assault.

The defendant is also charged with two felonies for reportedly trying to kidnap at gunpoint a 21-year-old woman from South Lake Tahoe. The woman, who identified Carlevato as her attacker in a physical lineup, testified she was walking home from work in September 1998 when she was assaulted on Shepherds Drive.

Defense attorney Donald Heape said Monday in his closing argument that the prosecution presented no real evidence during the trial. He claims his court-appointed client had consensual sex with two of the woman, but had not seen the woman he is accused of trying to kidnap until she testified in court.

If the jury finds the defendant guilty on all counts he could be sentenced to several life terms in prison. He has been in jail since his arrest Nov. 4, 1999.

“We’ve all invested a lot of time in this case,” Lasarow said. “Keep an open mind and be patient with (the court reporter) in the time it takes for her to read it back.”

Tuesday the jury broke deliberations at 3:30 p.m. They are expected to resume Wednesday morning.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.