A Davis man has been sentenced to more than 30 years in prison for the October 2012 murder of a developmentally disabled man for whom he served as caregiver.
Yolo County Superior Court Judge Stephen L. Mock today sentenced James Mattos, 53, to a term of 30 years to life, with an additional 11 years, for the murder of 66-year-old Cecil Wachholtz, according to a District Attorney’s Office news release. A jury in April convicted Mattos of second-degree murder, elder abuse likely to cause bodily harm or death, and theft from an elder or dependent adult.
On Oct. 13, 2012, the Davis Fire Department responded to a call regarding an elderly man who was unconscious. Firefighters found Wachholtz at his home on a bare mattress, dressed only in a dirty adult diaper. Mattos was Wachholtz’s caregiver.
Authorities said Wachholtz was emaciated and covered with bed sores on three sides of his body.
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Firefighters rushed Wachholtz 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 died Oct. 27, 2012. The Yolo County Coroner determined that he died as a result of neglect by his caregiver.
Sheriff’s detectives investigated the case. Authorities said a trust fund for Wachholtz’s care had been established many years earlier by his uncle. When Wachholtz died, the trust had a value of more than $200,000 and the caregiver, Mattos, was receiving $2,500 per month to provide medical care, prescriptions, food and shelter. Mattos had not taken Wachholtz to a doctor since 2008 and reportedly described him as “just an old man dying.”