Wednesday, April 16, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

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

By
From page A1 | September 17, 2013 | Leave Comment

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 lkeene@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
‘Eco-Heroes’ help get us from here to there

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Davis elder-abuse case wraps up

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Alleged serial killings highlight GPS limits

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

CHP seeks owner of lost cash

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
 
Home building up in March after frigid winter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Family fiction in miniature showcased at bookstore event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Local professor subdues unruly man on flight

By Adrian Glass-Moore | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

Yolo Crisis Nursery is in crisis; please help

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Meditation, Buddhism classes offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Seniors can get tips for getting around town

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
School has garden plots for rent

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Sugar overload, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rotarians, students, teachers, parents collaborate on planter boxes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Hop to it: Easter Bunny meets Davis history tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Garden doctor: Veggie gardening available year-round

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Animal expert explains dogs’ thinking

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Check out the night sky

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Still supporting this guy

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Urban forest under siege

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 5 Comments

 
Drought care for our trees

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

.

Sports

 
UCD staff allows 19 hits in Causeway rout

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS softball struggles in nonleague outing

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils open Boras Classic by splitting games

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JV/frosh roundup: DHS sweeps a trio of baseball games

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: River Cats get by Grizzlies at Raley

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Giants beat L.A. in 12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Sports briefs: Stanford sends Aggies home with a lacrosse loss

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

 
.

Arts

Red Union Blue inks record deal

By Landon Christensen | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Craft Center exhibit explores ‘Possibilities’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

RootStock to host wine themed plein aire exhibit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
The California Honeydrops to bring danceable groove to The Palms

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

See Flower Power exhibit at Gallery 625

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6