Friday, March 6, 2015

Mother, son to stand trial in Davis elder-abuse death

From page A1 | September 17, 2013 |

WOODLAND — A Davis mother and son were ordered to stand trial last week for the 2012 death of an elderly man who had been in their family’s care for decades.

Darlene Roberta Mattos, 77, and 53-year-old James Matthew Mattos were charged in June with the Oct. 27, 2012, death of Cecil Wachholtz, who succumbed two weeks after being admitted to Sutter Davis Hospital’s intensive-care unit, according to testimony presented Friday in Yolo Superior Court.

James Mattos is charged with murder and elder abuse, with enhancements alleging prior criminal convictions. Darlene Mattos faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, elder abuse and embezzlement by caretaker, according to court records. Both have pleaded not guilty.

The Yolo County Sheriff’s Department launched its investigation of what was then a suspected elder-abuse case on Oct. 13, 2012, after James Mattos phoned 911 to report that Wachholtz was unresponsive inside his Hedy Lane trailer at the Royal Oak mobile home community.

Sheriff’s deputies arrived to find the trailer filthy and in disarray, “including a smell I can only describe as rot,” Deputy Dean Nyland testified Friday in Judge Timothy Fall’s courtroom.

Wachholtz, 66, arrived at the hospital dehydrated and malnourished, suffering from multiple bedsores and bone fractures, Nyland said. His weight reached 97 pounds only after he had been administered six liters — about 13 pounds — of fluids in the hospital.

His cause of death was determined to be septic shock — described as the infection of multiple organs — due to aspiration pneumonia and multiple bedsores, Robert LaBrash, Yolo County’s former chief deputy coroner, said at Friday’s hearing.

“I concluded the manner of death was homicide” resulting from poor medical care, LaBrash said.

Sheriff’s Detective Jennifer Davis testified that Wachholtz, who was mentally impaired, had been cared for by various members of the Mattos family since he was 17 years old. An aging Darlene Mattos handed the responsibility down to her son in 2008 but continued to receive monthly payments of up to $2,500 from Wachholtz’s trust, most or all of which she would then transfer to James Mattos, Davis said.

Davis said she traced the payments from the defendants’ bank records, because when she had asked Darlene Mattos about the amount and frequency of the trust-fund installments during an interview, James Mattos instructed her “not to answer.”

Fall ordered both James Mattos and Darlene Mattos to stand trial on the charges as filed, ordering both back to court on Sept. 26 for arraignment.

James Mattos continues to be held without bail at the Yolo County Jail. Court records show he has prior convictions dating back to 1994, including battery, lewd and lascivious acts with a child under age 14, and failure to register as a sex offender.

Previously held in lieu of $100,000 bail, Darlene Mattos was granted release on her own recognizance after her attorney, Jeff Raven, argued that she posed neither a public-safety threat nor a flight risk, having remained in Davis throughout the case’s eight-month investigation.

Disputing his client’s involuntary manslaughter charge, Raven also argued that Wachholtz had frequently resisted his caregivers’ attempts to feed him and provide medical care, but Fall let the count stand as charged.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene



  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    ‘Topping out': Sign a building beam at the Shrem Museum

    By Jeffrey Day | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Life after lawn: Fifty greens for shade

    By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1

    Got sun? Indoor herbs can thrive on windowsills

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

    How can we know that the products we buy for our homes are safe?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Quick home improvements that raise your resale value

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Spring-clean your kitchen in five easy steps

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Dryers: Homes’ energy guzzlers just got greener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery

    UCD improving farming, food production with fewer pesticides

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: B6 | Gallery

    PSAs highlight area nonprofits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    Peripheral neuropathy support offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

    Workshop eyes creating peace through creative play

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

    Museum brick sales to end this month

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

    Cabrillo Club plans membership dinner

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

    Pig out at Pig Day Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Porkers on display at Hattie Weber Museum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    St. John’s shows off cuisine at brunch

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    Seniors serious about fitness

    By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A11 | Gallery



    Obama’s world is a dangerous place

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

    Some convicts don’t deserve parole hearings

    By Tom Elias | From Page: B4

    Here’s how to make college cheaper

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4



    Marsh provides radio images of a ‘magical’ Aggie hoops season

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Blue Devil volleyballers cruise in home opener

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS girls track and field team reloads for 2015

    By Dylan Lee | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD women fall at UCR

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Aggie men clinch Big West crown

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Bella Vista slips past DHS softballers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12



    Rec Report: Looking ahead to spring break

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

    Wineaux: A local diamond in the rough, revisited

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9



    Steve Kiser’s work on display at Gallery 1855

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Tables available at Vinyl and Music Fair

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel': Second-rate

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ auditions set

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

    Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela celebrate Mandela’s legacy

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    Learn from experts at ‘Art of Painting’ conference

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    Tom Brousseau to visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12



    Honey, we shrank the SUV — and Europe loves it

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery





    Comics: Friday, March 6, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B10