Men accused of murdering Marilyn Pharis to appear in court

December 12, 2016

Victor Aureliano Martinez Ramirez

Victor Aureliano Martinez Ramirez

The two men accused of sexually assaulting and murdering Santa Maria woman Marilyn Pharis, 64, are due to appear in court this week for preliminary hearings. [KSBY]

Last week, Santa Barbara County prosecutors announced they would not pursue the death penalty in the Pharis murder case. Rather, prosecutors are seeking sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole for both Victor Aureliano Martinez-Ramirez, 30, and Jose Villagomez, 21.

In July 2015, Martinez-Ramirez and Villagomez allegedly broke into Pharis’s home while she was sleeping, sexually assaulted her, strangled her and beat her head and face with a hammer. Pharis died in her hospital bed eight says after the attack.

Pharis was an Air Force veteran who worked at Vandenberg Air Force Base. An autopsy revealed she died as a result of the attack at her home.

The murder case quickly garnered national attention because of Martinez-Ramirez’s immigration status, criminal record and release from custody shortly before the assault. Martinez-Ramirez is an illegal immigrant who had been arrested six times in the 15 months leading up to Pharis’s murder. He was released from the Santa Barbara County Jail 96 hours before the July 2015 attack.

Earlier this year, Santa Maria Police Chief Ralph Martin testified about the case at a congressional hearing focused on criminal aliens. Martin said during the April congressional hearing that the United States is running a catch and release program for criminal aliens, and it is putting the public at risk.

Martin blamed an Oregon federal court ruling, which local law enforcement agencies cite as a reason they cannot cooperate with ICE detainer requests. The Santa Maria chief also faulted California’s Proposition 47, which reduced felony drug possession to a misdemeanor offense, something Martin said Martinez used to reduce his convictions.

Martinez-Ramirez and Villagomez’s preliminary hearings are expected to last the majority of the week. A judge will then decide if there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial.







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6 Comments

  1. Frederick1337 says:

    Indeed these two are garbage if they did this. Perhaps if we had an American Union like they do in Europe, the borders might have been secure and there would not have been this possibility. We could easily track criminal activity even into South America if that were true. Build a wall and the criminals will dig a tunnel. Deport them and they will come back through the tunnel. Build a Union though and they go to jail and stay there if they break laws on either side. Build a Union and there is accountability. Plus the upside is that you can watch the Brexit shit, which is hillarious. I just love to watch people that have created financial havoc in the Union blame others and recede into thier own borders as if they were the ones that were hurt. Get back into your borders and strangle yojr own economy you christian heathens.

    (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  2. rukidding says:

    I like the chiefs statement that we are just a catch and release program for illegal aliens. Actually this might be a very efficient program if they were to be released to the right people to be never seen again.

    (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down
  3. Russ J says:

    I just love the narrative from KSBY, a leading cause for giving a pass to illegal alien criminals. They went through the whole graphic story of this heinous crime and then at the very end quoted the prosecutor “he was undocumented and arrested multiple times”. KSBY is a sanctuary news station. They won’t even research and state the facts. They have to quote a government official and separate themselves from the reality that this POS should never have been here. This wonderful lady would not have died if our government would have done their job.

    (12) 18 Total Votes - 15 up - 3 down
  4. Slosum says:

    What an unfortunate young man and certainly a testimony to keeping the borders open. He just had a bad childhood and should be a candidate for “restorative justice”. Not.

    (11) 11 Total Votes - 11 up - 0 down
    • Russ J says:

      Slosum – you wax so eloquently! Bravo my passionate friend. Aliens like Victor should be afforded every opportunity for redemption and multiple chances for the American way. Still, although he has taken a life, there is no reason we cannot rehabilitate him.

      (0) 6 Total Votes - 3 up - 3 down
  5. Robert1 says:

    These two are a waste of skin and oxygen.

    (11) 11 Total Votes - 11 up - 0 down

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