Beaufort News

Habersham resident faces murder, torture charges in connection with wife’s death

A 69-year-old former minor league baseball player and part-time Habersham resident faces torture and murder charges in connection with the death of his wife in their California home on Sunday.

John Tercheria also faces charges of elder abuse in connection with the death of his wife, Linda Marie Tercheria, 69, Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jimmy Lee said Thursday morning. The weapon has not yet been identified, he said.

Linda Tercheria died from “more than 20 blows to the head,” according to the East Bay Times. Lee declined to confirm that information.

The torture charge is based on this section of California penal code: “Every person who, with the intent to cause cruel or extreme pain and suffering for the purpose of revenge, extortion, persuasion, or for any sadistic purpose, inflicts great bodily injury as defined in Section 12022.7 upon the person of another, is guilty of torture ... Torture is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of life.”

Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the couple’s Quail Run Lane home in Blackhawk, Calif., on Sunday afternoon to find Linda Tercheria dead, Lee said. The call for service was for a “suspicious circumstance.” Lee said he did not know who placed the call or from where.

Sheriff’s Office homicide detectives initially arrested John Tercheria around 1 a.m. on Monday on a charge of murder, Lee said. He was released on $1 million bond later on Monday.

After further investigations, John Tercheria faced two additional charges: torture and elder abuse, Lee said. He was arrested again around 11 p.m. Tuesday night in Dublin, Calif., a town in a neighboring county.

John Tercheria is being held in Martinez Detention Facility with bond set at $2.1 million, Lee said.

Linda Tercheria filed for legal separation from her husband in April 2015, according to East Bay Times’ report.

Lee could not confirm if there have been previous calls for service to the home.

John Tercheria was a pitcher for the Wisconsin Rapids in the late 1960s.

Joan McDonough: 843-706-8125, @IPBG_Joan