Man Faces Life in Prison for Murder of Santa Maria Woman
Source: District Attorney of Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced [Wednesday] that Victor Aureliano Martinez, age 32, will face life in prison without the possibility of parole as a result of being found guilty of first degree murder. The jury found true the special circumstances of felony murder for burglary in the first degree, robbery, and rape by foreign instrument. The jury further found true the special allegation that the defendant personally used a deadly weapon, a hammer, during the crime. On July 24, 2015, Defendant Martinez with his Co-Defendant Jose Villagomez entered the home of Marilyn Pharis while Ms. Pharis was sleeping. Ms. Pharis woke up to Defendant Martinez attempting to sexually assault her. Defendant Martinez then began to beat and repeatedly strangle Ms. Pharis as she fought back. Ms. Pharis died as a result of the assault.
District Attorney Dudley stated, “This case was heartbreaking for both Marilyn Pharis’ loved ones and the entire Santa Maria community. This extraordinary verdict is the result of relentless hard work and professionalism on the part of the Santa Maria Police Department and Prosecutors Ann Bramsen and Fabiana Fede and their team.”
Mr. Martinez will return to Court on July 2, 2018 for sentencing setting in Department 6 in the Santa Maria Superior Court.