Jury selection to begin for Marilyn Pharis murder suspects

Posted at 4:13 PM, Apr 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-20 19:13:15-04

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the trial of two men charged with the rape and death of a Santa Maria woman in 2016.

Victor Martinez and Jose Villagomez are charged with first-degree murder in the death of Marilyn Pharis, 64. 
Police say in July 2016, the men broke into Pharis’s home, raped her and beat her with a hammer.
After the men fled, Pharis was able to call 911, but died in the hospital days later from her injuries.

Police say there is no connection between the men and Pharis.
Prosecutors say Martinez had been arrested by Santa Maria police six times in the previous year-and-a-half and was also in the country illegally.
The trial will begin once jury selection is complete.
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said she is not seeking the death penalty against the two but instead life behind bars without the possibility of parole. 

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