Davis Man Sentenced for Elder Abuse Murder

James Mattos will serve life in prison for the murder of Cecil Wachholtz

Press Release

(Woodland, CA) – June 19, 2014- District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that on Thursday, June 19, 2014, Yolo County Superior Court Judge Stephen L. Mock sentenced James Mattos, 53, of Davis, to a term of 30 years-to-life, with an additional 11 years, for the October 2012 murder of Cecil Wachholtz.

On April 17, 2014 a Yolo County jury convicted 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. 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.”


This photo is of murder victim Cecil Wacholtz.