Life term handed down for Davis elder-abuse death
A Davis man received a life prison sentence Thursday for his role in the death of a developmentally disabled man who died after being in his care.
James Mattos, 53, received both a 30-years-to-life term plus an additional 11 years for his conviction on second-degree murder, elder abuse and theft from an elder charges following an April jury trial, according to the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office.
Mattos had been serving as the primary caregiver for 66-year-old Cecil Wachholtz when his emaciated and bedsore-ridden body was discovered on Oct. 13, 2012, in Mattos’ Hedy Lane trailer. Wachholtz died two weeks later, his manner of death ruled homicide due to neglect by caregiver.
Authorities discovered Mattos had been collecting $2,500 per month from a trust fund set up by Wachholtz’s uncle, but failed to provide him with medical care or feed him meals other than liquefied soup, trial testimony revealed.
Mattos’ mother, 78-year-old Darlene Roberta Mattos, was sentenced last month to three years of probation. The Davis woman, who had been Wachholtz’s previous caregiver and still held the role of his conservator, had pleaded no contest to a felony elder abuse charge before her case went to trial.
A bid by Mattos’ defense attorney to remove the defendant’s prior child-molestation conviction from consideration in his sentencing on the murder charge was withdrawn prior to Thursday’s hearing.