California mom faces murder charge for killing son, 12, and critically injuring seven-year-old

Sherri Telnas was arrested after deputies found both her sons unconscious and critically injuried in an irrigation ditch in Porterville.


                            California mom faces murder charge for killing son, 12, and critically injuring seven-year-old

A Tulare County, California woman,Sherri Telnas, has been arrested for allegedly killing one of her sons and critically injuring another. 

Deputies from the Tulare County Sheriff's Office were called to 18900 block of Avenue 184 in Porterville regarding a "suspicious circumstance" at around 5.25am on Saturday, June 29, according to a press release

The caller reportedly informed the deputies that a woman, identified as 45-year-old Sherri Telnas, was "acting strangely" and had taken her two sons, a seven-year-old and a 12-year-old, to a field across the street.

While the deputies were en-route to the scene, they were notified that the two children had been found in a full irrigation ditch near a cornfield and were not responsive. The children's grandmother and a neighbor gave the boys CPR until the police arrived, reported ABC30.

On arrival, the deputies also rendered medical aid. Both boys were then taken to a local hospital for treatment, which is where the 12-year-old boy succumbed to his injuries. The seven-year-old boy was said to be in critical condition.

While the cause of the 12-year-old's death has yet to be determined pending an autopsy, authorities said Telnas had been taken into custody without any incident and that she could face murder charges over the incident.

Family members told ABC30 that Telnas has a history of mental health issues and that she had been previously incarcerated in Mineral County, Montana for criminal endangerment for attempting to drown her 12-year-old son in Clark Fork River back when he was just 10-months-old in April 2008.

A medical examination at the time found he had been submerged under water for "an appreciable period of time and had water in his lungs". 

He was released into his father's care, with the family stating the incident was a result of Telnas's mental illness and that she had saved the boy's life by giving him CPR after attempting to drown him.

"She is a criminal but she does have underlying mental health disease and she needs help," said psychiatric nurse practitioner Deborah Moore of the 45-year-old. "Look for signs of depression look for isolation, withdrawal, poor hygiene not taking care of themselves and their kids' neglect."

A GoFundMe page set up to raise donations to cover the victim's funeral identified him as Jackson Telnas and described him as a "sweet, funny, smart & kind 12 year old who was so very loved by his family." 

The case is currently under investigation by the Tulare County Violent Crimes Investigations Unit. 

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Unit Det. Miguel Franco or Sergeant Gary Marks at (559) 802-9563 or (800) 808-0488.

Anonymous information about this crime can be reported via Tipnow email tcso@tipnow.net, text or voicemail at 559-725-4194.

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