Attorney appointed for grandson in Silver Springs murder case |

Attorney appointed for grandson in Silver Springs murder case

by F.T. Norton

A California man accused of killing his grandmother in Silver Springs was appointed an attorney Wednesday in a Yerington courtroom.

James Masterson, 22, appeared before Walker River Justice Court Judge Michael Fletcher at 2:30 p.m. to be arraigned on nine charges including murder, kidnapping and fraudulent use of a credit card.

He stands accused of robbing and killing his paternal grandmother, then stuffing her body into the trunk of her car and burying her in his maternal grandfather’s backyard in California.

Peggy Herlacher, 73, was reported missing on July 24. On July 25, Masterson was stopped in Sacramento by police and found to be in possession of heroin, along with Herlacher’s property.

On Aug. 31, Herlacher’s body was found buried in a flower bed in Riverbank.

Masterson, who had moved in with his grandmother on July 17, has refused to speak to investigators.

He was being held in the Sacramento County Jail on possession of drugs and stolen property charges, but signed an extradition waiver on Tuesday morning and was back in Nevada that evening to face the charges here.

In Walker River Justice Court on Wednesday, Masterson waived his right to a preliminary hearing within 15 days, said Lyon County District Attorney Bob Auer.

Auer said he hasn’t yet begun looking at whether or not to seek the death penalty in the case.

A pre-trial hearing for Masterson is set for Oct. 28.

He is being held without bail and in segregation at the Lyon County Jail in Yerington.