TULARE COUNTY, Calif. — The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that 45-year-old Sherri Telnas allegedly attempted to drown her two sons Saturday morning in California — and that she had also tried to kill one of her sons 11 years ago in Montana.
The incident took place in Mineral County in April of 2008. Police say Telnas tried to drown her 10-month-old son in the Clark Fork River.
On Sunday, Montana Mineral County Attorney Ellen Donohue provided CBS47 in Fresno, California, with media documents from 2008 that stated “bad thoughts and voices” were what Telnas told police urged her to attempt to drown her baby.
From information received, it was clear Telnas regretted what she had done, gave the baby CPR and took him to Mineral Community Hospital in Superior to treat him for water in his lungs.
From the public information documents Donohue provided, Telnas did face a deliberate homicide charge and underwent a mental evaluation. However, she later entered into a plea agreement for two counts of criminal endangerment due to “conflicting reports” given from the psychologist and hospital.
According to Telnas’s criminal records, she was sentenced to a Montana Department of Health and Human Services Commitment for mental health reasons. The public information reports show she was released in November 2016.
Now 11 years later, that same son is the boy dead after Telnas allegedly drowned him in an irrigation ditch. Her other son, who is 7 years old, remains in critical condition at Valley Children’s Hospital in California after police said Telnas attempted to drown him as well.
Telnas faces four felonies from Saturday, including murder and attempted murder.
The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said investigators are aware of the mother’s criminal history and are working with multiple agencies to confirm all the details.