Carr vows to continue in his role, fight charges
Published in the January 17 – 30, 2018 issue of Morgan Hill Life
City Councilmember Larry Carr, who faces a Jan. 26 arraignment for alleged domestic battery charges against his girlfriend of 11 years, vows to fight the charges and continue his work serving the public.
Carr was arrested Nov. 25 at the home he shares with his girlfriend. Police reports show conflicting stories about what happened that evening.
“I don’t think this clouds my judgment in any way,” Carr said. “And so it is my intent to continue to do that. I think through the judicial process which purposely is slow and deliberate, it will be found that I’m right and the things that are being claimed about me did not happen and are not true … my intent is to continue with my commitment to being a public servant.”
Morgan Hill police officers arrived at the couple’s downtown home about 6:25 p.m. that night to conduct a welfare check after the girlfriend’s sister called police expressing concern about her sister during a heated argument with Carr. The officers were greeted at the door by Carr who invited them into the townhouse. The girlfriend emerged from another room. (Morgan Hill Life does not identify the alleged victim in a domestic violence case.) The officers interviewed her and Carr in separate locations.
The couple had spent the Thanksgiving holiday in San Diego. During the return flight back to San Jose and the drive to Morgan Hill they engaged in a verbal argument. According to the police report, the girlfriend said she and Carr had consumed one alcoholic beverage before getting on the plane four hours before and neither was intoxicated. She had no injuries or complaint of pain as a result of the incident, according to the police report.
Upon arriving home, the couple continued arguing. At some point, the girlfriend called her sister and sat in a chair next to the home’s kitchen island while talking.
“Carr came into the kitchen and began yelling and screaming that (the girlfriend) is crazy,” according to the girlfriend’s statement. She went on to say that Carr grabbed for her glasses and at the same time grabbed some of her hair which caused her head to jolt forward when he “ripped” the glasses from her face. (The girlfriend) cannot see without her glasses, so she attempted to find the lenses and frames with her limited vision. As she pulled a chair away from the kitchen island, Carr pushed it back in. She pulled it out again and Carr pushed it back in again. According to Carr’s girlfriend’s statement: “Carr then picked up a chair and threw it down the stairs to the first level.”
But Carr disputes his girlfriend’s account of what happened.
In his statement to police, Carr said he tried to leave for a Sobrato High School basketball game but every time he opened the garage door from inside his vehicle, his girlfriend would close it. “Carr thinks she did not want him to leave because she was not done arguing,” the report stated.
Carr went back inside the home. In the kitchen, his girlfriend threw water from a drinking glass at him. “Carr thought the glass was also being thrown and instinctively raised his arm to protect his face,” according to the police report. In doing so, Carr knocked the glasses off her face. He admitted to saying cruel things, according to the report, but did not remember exactly what he said that prompted her to throw the water at him.
“Carr then wiped up the water with a towel to protect the hardwood floors and went downstairs,” the report said. “About half way down the flight of stairs, (his girlfriend) threw a chair down the stairs toward him, which he blocked with his arm. Carr returned the chair to the kitchen and (his girlfriend) had already left the room.”
Morgan Hill Life was unable to reach Carr’s girlfriend or her sister for comment about the events that night. In mid-December, this newspaper interviewed Carr for an hour.
“We had an argument, a very heated argument, a very emotional argument, a loud argument,” he said. “For me it was scary … I would imagine for my partner it was scary as well. But it was never physical, it was never violent.”
He insisted he had not pulled her hair. He had accidentally knocked her glasses off her face when he raised his arms up to protect himself, thinking she might throw the drinking glass and not just water at him. He had not threatened her, he said.
Carr said he had heard his girlfriend’s phone conversation with her sister.
“She called her and put her on speaker phone while I was there. I took it to be like she was trying to get an intermediary or someone else engaged in it,” he said. “Not for a moment did I think she was calling because she was frightened and wanted a witness. I took it entirely as if, hey, maybe someone else can help us in this discussion and help us to move past this discussion, which is something I think we both wanted.”
Carr discussed with Morgan Hill Life an incident in 2015 when he and his girlfriend had a heated argument and he broke a lamp in anger.
“I threw a lamp to the ground — not at her, not near her, not even in the direction she was in the room,” he said. “And I asked her to leave the house, and then a couple hours later the police came by to talk to me.”
The girlfriend made domestic battery claims against him. Carr denied those claims and they were dismissed by the judge except for one.
“All of those claims were dismissed before they got to trial, and then I ultimately pleaded out to one — basically, the lamp,” he said. “I pleaded out because I was trying to rebuild a relationship with my partner. And I didn’t want to have to drag both of us into court into which I would have to deny what was being claimed against me. And I would have had to put my kids and the rest of my family and this community through a public trial. And I chose to plead it out, thinking that was going to be the best thing.”
Carr went through an anger-management counseling program as part of the agreement.
Marty Cheek contributed to this report.