During day two of the Marilyn Pharis preliminary hearing, the prosecution lawyers called a pathologist to the stand.
As part of their evidence, they showed graphic pictures of Pharis after her attack and during her autopsy.
“Dr. Montez, can you tell us if you recognize this photo? What are we looking at? It’s a photo of Marilyn Pharis, it’s what we call the initial photo of the case,” says Dr. Manual Montez, a pathologist with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff Coroner’s Office.
The pictures show the injuries Pharis suffered to her face, neck and other parts of her body. Dr. Montez calls this a “violently traumatic death.”
“The photo of Ms. Pharis laying down, we see the injuries coming into play, there’s obvious bleeding,” he says about a picture he described during the hearing.
Suspects in the case Victor Martinez and Jose Villagomez didn’t show any visible emotion throughout the hearing.
The prosecution asked questions about what led to the Santa Maria woman’s death after the two men allegedly assaulted and attacked her last year in her home.
“In my opinion, the reason she was hospitalized, the reason she had that stay, and that treatment and died is because she is in there because of an assault, and this assault was at the hands of another person or party and it becomes a homicide,” he says.
Dr. Montez says Pharis has a previous medical condition of Atrial Fibrillation, something that can cause poor blood flow throughout the body.
“She was admitted with an assault, they are trying to medically manage her, but, being immobile she’s at risk for a clot, she gets one in her lower leg, it breaks off, goes into her lung and kills her,” he says.
The defense used Montez’s findings to their advantage. They pointed out that the injuries allegedly directly caused by the suspects didn’t lead to her death, instead it was a medical condition.
The preliminary hearing is expected to continue on Wednesday.