Victor Aureliano Martinez Ramirez was in the United States illegally and was allowed to remain despite a string of arrests, and now outrage is building after the 29-year-old Mexican national was accused of raping and murdering a 64-year-old woman.
Martinez has been charged in a fatal attack on Marilyn Pharis inside her Santa Maria home. Authorities say Martinez attacked the woman with a hammer after breaking into her home on July 24, sexually assaulting and ultimately killing her.
Now many are pointing fingers at the state of California for enacting policies that allow illegal immigrants to remain in the country, Fox News reported. Santa Maria police chief Ralph Martin called out state and federal lawmakers for not cracking down on illegal immigration, which allowed Martinez to avoid deportation after a string of arrests.
“I think this is a national issue – it starts with administration and their policies,” Martin said after Pharis died from the attack. “You can draw a direct line to this governor and Legislature.
“I am not remiss to say that from Washington, DC, to Sacramento, there is a blood trail to Marilyn Pharis’ bedroom,” he added.
The attack on Pharis was particularly brutal. Police say the woman was asleep in her bed when two men broke into her room at 9:45 a.m. on July 24, beating her in the head with a claw hammer, strangling and raping her with a foreign object. She survived the initial attack and called police, but died in a hospital more than a week later.
Police have arrested a second suspect, 20-year-old Jose Fernando Villagomez.
The illegal alien, also identified as Victor Aureliano Martinez, had been arrested six for times for minor crimes, including one this May.
As Fox News reported, authorities did not move to deport Martinez:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement admitted in a statement it did not issue an immigration detainer, which would have led to deportation, for Ramirez following the most recent arrest. The agency said its decision was “based on the agency’s enforcement priorities after a thorough review of his case history showed he had no prior deportations or felony criminal convictions.”
The rape and murder of Marilyn Pharis came after another high-profile crime allegedly committed by an illegal alien. In San Francisco, Kathryn Steinle was gunned down in what appeared to be a random attack. Police arrested Francisco Sanchez, identified as an illegal alien.
At the time of his rape and murder arrest, Victor Aureliano Martinez Ramirez was on probation for an arrest for felony assault with intent to commit sexual assault while in possession of a controlled substance. He was convicted of a lesser charge, Fox News noted, the re-arrested in May for allegedly concealing a dagger and possessing drug paraphernalia.
[Image via Santa Maria Police Department]