Thursday, August 16 , 2018, 1:40 pm | Fair 77º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Other Homicide Trials May Lead To Delay For Men Charged With Marilyn Pharis’ Death

The two men accused of killing a Santa Maria woman two years ago had a trial date set for early 2018, but that date remains uncertain due to scheduling conflicts involving defense attorneys’ other cases.

Victor Aureliano Ramirez Martinez and Jose Villagomez have been charged in connection with the violent attack on Marilyn Pharis, 64, in her residence on the 900 block of North Dejoy Street in July 2015. She died eight days later at the hospital. 

They will be tried for first-degree murder, plus numerous special circumstances.

The men made a brief appearance before Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge John McGregor on Thursday morning.

Martinez will face an additional special circumstance for torture and a special allegation for use of a deadly weapon, identified as a hammer.

As McGregor began to discuss setting a date to hear motions ahead of the previously scheduled trial start of Feb. 5, Senior Deputy District Attorney Ann Bramsen suggested waiting.

“Your honor, both (defense) counsel have two other homicide trials that may have time issues that may cause us a problem in our trial,”  Bramsen said. 

With the uncertain schedule involving defense attorneys Michael Scott’s and Lori Pedego’s other cases, the judge agreed to delay talks about dates for the Martinez and Villagomez trial, setting Oct. 19 for that case to return to court.

“I think that’s a sensible proposal,”  McGregor said. 

The other two homicide cases Scott and Pedego are involved with have a court date Monday in Judge James Voysey’s courtroom to potentially resolve the scheduling conflict.

They are representing Lavell White and Ali Mohammed, two former Allan Hancock College basketball players charged with murder in the shooting death of Terence Richardson in December 2014. White and Mohammed have not waived time for a trial beyond December.

Additionally, Scott and Pedego represent two of three defendants set for trial on charges stemming from the killing of Javier Limon, whose body was found dumped on West Main Street west of Guadalupe in August 2014.

Both of those trials are set to be heard by Voysey, who has yet another homicide trial set to start in mid-October and last eight weeks. 

That case involves the second trial for pair of Lompoc charged in connected with a fatal gang-related stabbing of Jesse “Dizzy” Lara, 29, in June 2015.

Jurors in their first trial found the men not guilty of first-degree murder but were unable to reach a verdict regarding lesser charges, leading to a mistrial.

Attempts to reach a plea deal before a second trial reportedly have not be successful.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >