Crime - Sacto 911

Davis caregiver sentenced in death of developmentally disabled man

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.

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.”