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Local News

Trial Delayed for 2 Men Charged With Slaying Marilyn Pharis

The Santa Barbara County Superior Court trial date for two men charged with murder in connection with a violent attack of an Air Force veteran in her Santa Maria home was delayed as expected on Thursday.

Judge John McGregor postponed the planned April 9 start for the trial of Victor Ramirez Martinez, 32, and Jose Villagomez, 23. 

The menare charged in the brutal attack on Marilyn Pharis in her home on the 900 block of North Dejoy Street in July 2015. She died eight days later at a hospital.

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

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

While the judge previously had set April 9 for the trial’s start, that date has been in doubt.

Both defense attorneys, Michael Scott for Villagomez and Lori Pedego, are currently engaged in a different homicide trial involving a pair of former Allan Hancock College basketball players, in another courtroom.

Ann Bramsen and Fabiana Fede from the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office are leading the prosecution team. 

McGregor set April 23 as the new date for the Martinez and Villagomez trial, but also told attorneys to return April 12 for a trial-confirmation conference. 

The case drew national media attention after the arrests because Martinez was an undocumented immigrant with prior arrests. 

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.

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