Hearing set in Silver Springs grandmother’s killing
A preliminary hearing has been set for a California man accused of killing his Silver Springs grandmother and stealing her jewelry, car and credit cards.
James Masterson, 22, didn’t take an offer from the Lyon County District Attorney’s Office to plead to first-degree murder with an elderly enhancement.
Instead, a Walker River Justice Court judge on Friday set a preliminary hearing for March 2 and 3 to determine if there’s enough evidence to try Masterson on charges of felony murder or an alternate charge of first degree murder with an elderly enhancement, kidnapping, robbery, obtaining a credit card without the permission of the cardholder, grand larceny of a motor vehicle, grand larceny of jewelry and cigarettes and two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card.
According to the criminal complaint filed by Lyon County District Attorney Bob Auer, Masterson allegedly strangled his grandmother either before or after he put her into the trunk of her car at her Silver Springs home. He then allegedly drove her to California and buried her in his maternal grandfather’s backyard flower bed.
Peggy Herlacher, 73, was reported missing on July 24.
Masterson, of Riverbank, Calif., was arrested the following day in Sacramento driving his grandmother’s car and allegedly in possession of her jewelry and credit cards. Herlacher’s body was found Aug. 31.
• corrected plea offer.