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.