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Man convicted of murder in Pharis trial sentenced to 25 years to life in prison

[Update 7/19/18 9:26 a.m.] Jose Villagomez was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the murder of Marilyn Pharis in a Santa Maria courtroom Thursday morning.

One of two men convicted of murder in the death of Santa Maria resident Marilyn Pharis three years ago is expected to be sentenced Thursday in Santa Maria Superior Court.

23 year old Jose Villagomez is facing 25 years to life in prison with the possibility of parole for pleading guilty to murder in the death of Marilyn Pharis.

Villagomez accepted a plea deal after his trial began in May, pleading guilty to first degree murder without special circumstances in the death of Pharis in 2015.

64 year old Marilyn Pharis was beaten, strangled and sexually assaulted inside her Santa Maria home in July 2015 by co-defendant Victor Martinez.

Pharis died eight days later in the hospital from a blood clot.

Last month a jury found Victor Martinez guilty of first degree murder with special circumstances.

Martinez, an undocumented illegal immigrant, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced at a later date.

The prosecution and defense agreed Jose Villagomez, a U.S. citizen from Ukiah in northern California, did not touch or harm Marilyn Pharis when she was attacked but he was there when it happened and did nothing to help her.

Villagomez could be eligible for parole after spending 23 years in prison.

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