James Mattos along with his mother Darlene were charged in June 2013 with causing the death of an elderly man, Cecil Wachholtz, who was under their care. The Yolo County Sheriff’s Department launched an investigation of 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.
The trial began with District Attorney Jay Linden calling Officer Gail to the stand. Linden presented the court room a diagram depicting the layout of the trailer in which the victim Wachholtz was found, and where Mattos was living. Within the entrance of the trailer, detectives were greeted by a foul smell and a disarrayed trailer.
Gail testified that the bedroom in which Wachholtz was staying had stains along the carpet and was filled with filth. The restroom, which was near Wachholtz’ room, looked as if it had not been touched in a long time. The toilet seat, which had a rug placed upon it, when lifted by detectives, had brown stains which resembled rotting. The shower also had the brown rotting pattern along it, as well as cobwebs, assuring that the restroom had not been used for a while.
In contrast, Gail testified, the room in which Mattos was staying had bedding, and looked as if it were more in order then Wachholtz’ room. The restroom which Mattos was using was showing no evidence of rotting, while the shower looked as if it had been used.
Emily Fisher, deputy public defender for Mattos, questioned Gail about whether she would want to stay in any of the rooms in the trailer. Gail responded “No I wouldn’t want to stay in any of the rooms, throughout the trailer and outside, there was a large amount of animal feces found, along with a foul stench.”
The feces were also found in Mattos’ room, demonstrating filthy conditions there, as well. Fisher ended her cross-examination by stating “You would conclude that the entire residence looked messy. It did not appear that one was living better than the other, correct?” Gail agreed as her testimony came to an end.
After a brief lunch break, the trial continued with the testimony of Sheriff’s Detective Jennifer Davis. Davis testified that Wachholtz had been cared for by various members of the Mattos family for quite some time.
Darlene Mattos handed over the responsibility of taking care of Wachholtz to her son in 2008 but continued to receive monthly payments of up to $2,500 from Wachholtz’ trust. Davis traced the payments from the defendants’ bank records, because when she had questioned Darlene Mattos about the trust fund, James Mattos instructed Darlene by saying, “”Don’t give her any information, we have a right to an attorney.”
According to Detective Davis, who spoke with Wells Fargo, she discovered that Wachholtz’ trust contained about $226,000.00. Statements of billing to the trust from 2003-2012 were obtained by Detective Davis, with the exception of 2007 & 2011. This monthly trust fund was supposed to be used for prescriptions for Wachholtz, but after further investigation Detective Davis found that no prescription had been filed under Wachholtz’ name since 2009.
Davis then further provided evidence that James Mattos, who has a total of one bank account at Golden 1 Credit Union, seemed to be receiving funds which included the same amount of money that was being depleted from the Wells Fargo account, which was under Darlene Mattos’ name.