Davis Man Convicted of Murder

James Mattos faces life in prison for elder abuse and murder of Cecil Wachholtz

Press Release

(Woodland, CA) – April 17, 2014 - District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that today a Yolo County jury convicted 53-year-old Davis man James Mattos of Murder in the Second Degree, Elder Abuse Likely to Cause Great Bodily Harm or Death, and Theft from an Elder or Dependent Adult. The jury deliberated for approximately four hours before returning the verdicts.

On October 13, 2012, the Davis Fire Department responded to a call of an elderly man who was unconscious. Firefighters found 66-year-old victim Cecil Wachholtz at his home on a bare mattress, dressed only in a dirty adult diaper. James Mattos was the
caregiver of Wachholtz who was developmentally disabled. Wachholtz was emaciated and covered in bed sores on three sides of his body. Garbage and animal feces were strewn throughout the trailer where he lived. Firefighters rushed him to Sutter Davis Hospital, where he was diagnosed with severe malnourishment, dehydration, and hypothermia, with a body temperature of 86 degrees. Wachholtz never regained consciousness and on October 27, 2012, he died. The Yolo County Coroner determined that Wachholtz died as a result of neglect from his caregiver. Yolo County Sheriff’s detectives investigated the case.

A trust had been established for the care of Wachholtz many years ago by his uncle. By the end of his life, the trust had a value of over $200,000 and his caregiver, Mattos, was receiving $2,500 per month in order to provide medical care, prescriptions, food and shelter. Mattos had not taken Wachholtz to a doctor since 2008. Mattos described Mr. Wachholtz as “just an old man dying.”

Deputy District Attorney Jay Linden prosecuted the case and praised the verdicts. “Today we got justice for a victim who had no voice,” said Linden. “This was a sad case but the jury spoke loudly in holding the defendant accountable.”

The Honorable Stephen Mock, who presided over the trial, will sentence Mattos on May 16, 2014 at 8:30 am. Mattos faces 37 years to life in prison.

For more information, please contact Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven via email at jonathan.raven@yolocounty.org.