The caretaker of an elderly Davis man for many years was convicted on April 17 by a Yolo County jury of murdering him.
Prosecutors argued that the failure of James Mattos to properly care for Cecil Wachholtz, a 67-year-old mentally impaired man, constituted second degree murder, and the jury agreed after less than one day of deliberations. The jurors also found James Matthew Mattos guilty as charged of elder abuse and theft.
The case began on October 13, 2012, when paramedics responded to a 911 call from Mattos. They found Wacholtz dehydrated, malnourished and bedridden in Mattos’ trailer located on Hedy Way in the Royal Oak Trailer Park in South Davis. The first responders described living conditions in the trailer as “filthy,” according to a Davis Enterprise report. It was revealed during the trial that Wacholtz had not received health care in decades, despite the fact that a trust fund had been set up to provide him with regular checkups and any needed treatment.
Wacholtz was rushed to Sutter Davis Hospital weighing only 70 pounds and covered with bedsores. He died on October 27, 2012.
Mattos “let that man rot, lie in his bed and starve to death while he took his $2,500 a month and gave him nothing in return,” prosecutors said. Mattos has a strike on his record for a prior child-molestation conviction. Thus he now faces up to 35 years to life in state prison. He will be sentenced May 16 before Judge Stephen Mock in Yolo Superior Court. Mattos is currently being held without bail at the Yolo County Jail.
Davis Enterprise: Former caretaker convicted of murder, elder abuse
Daily Democrat: Davis man faces 37 years after murder conviction