Blackhawk man charged with murder, torture in wife's death

Prosecutor reveals cause of death was gruesome hammer attack

A Blackhawk man has been formally charged with murdering his wife in what authorities allege was a vicious hammer attack in the couple's Quail Run Lane home.

John Tercheria, 69, faces felony counts of murder, elder abuse and torture, as well as special allegations of committing an especially heinous or cruel murder and using a deadly weapon, in connection with the death of his wife, Linda Marie Tercheria.

He has not yet entered a plea in the case, and his arraignment scheduled for Aug. 23.

Contra Costa County sheriff's deputies found Linda Marie Tercheria, 69, dead from blunt force trauma to the head around 4:10 p.m. Sunday while responding to a suspicious circumstance report at the couple's 4,000-square-foot home in the 4300 block of Quail Run Lane.

The Blackhawk woman suffered a slew of blows to the head from a hammer that was recovered by investigators, according to deputy district attorney Chris Walpole, who is prosecuting the case.

"According to the deputies, it was getting hard to count the number of times he smashed her in the head," Walpole said during a phone interview Thursday afternoon.

John Tercheria, who was arrested early Monday and posted $1 million bail that afternoon, returned to jail custody Tuesday following a second arrest after subsequent investigation by authorities.

The latter arrest occurred when sheriff's deputies served a new arrest warrant to him at a home in Dublin on Tuesday night. He remains in custody on $2.1 million bail, sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said.

The district attorney's office filed the charges Wednesday against John Tercheria, who briefly played minor league baseball and later became an accomplished senior softball player.

The torture count was charged because the severity of the hammer attack met the legal definition of torture, according to Walpole, who noted that Linda Marie Tercheria was not tied down during the incident. The elder abuse charge originated because she was older than 64 years old.

Editor's note: Information from the Bay City News Service was used in this report.

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61 people like this
Posted by Celeste
a resident of Danville
on Aug 12, 2016 at 5:53 am

Why did the journalist include so much detail about the his baseball background???? What does that have to do with the story? He MURDERED his wife. Where is the editorial on her life, achievements, interests? Why do we care about his hitting stats. Shaking my head.

18 people like this
Posted by Kristine
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 12, 2016 at 7:30 am

I agree with Celeste's comment. It's about his wife's murder, not his obituary!

14 people like this
Posted by Tracy
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 12, 2016 at 8:40 am

No mention of children or family in the area.
Just loser minor league baseball stats. The only person who cares about that info is the murder. Living in the past, clearly a womanizer.

Editors should have edited out the sports info.

6 people like this
Posted by Ms. Bunny
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 12, 2016 at 9:43 am

Baseball stats! Really?

I agree with the above comments, but please don't call the person who wrote this a journalist. Too good of a title for that person.

7 people like this
Posted by Jeremy Walsh, associate editor
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2016 at 11:28 am

Jeremy Walsh, associate editor is a registered user.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story included extraneous details about John Tercheria's athletic background. That information has now been removed as irrelevant to the story. We appreciate the feedback from readers on that point.

1 person likes this
Posted by Jay Manning
a resident of Blackhawk
on Aug 19, 2016 at 5:28 pm

So what was his senior softball batting average???

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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