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Death Penalty Off Table In Santa Barbara County Murder Case

Two men accused of the brutal attack on a Santa Barbara County woman which led to her death won’t be facing the death penalty.

Prosecutors announced they will seek life in prison without the possibility of parole for Victor Ramirez and Jose Villagomez for the July, 2015 murder of Marilyn Pharis of Santa Maria. After the men were arrested, the case attracted national attention because Ramirez is in the country illegally, and had prior arrests on criminal charges.

The two men are accused of breaking into the 64 year old woman’s home, where she was beaten and sexually assaulted.  She died in a hospital more than a week after the attack.