California mom Sherri Telnas was charged over a decade ago with trying to drown her then 10-month-old son, Jackson. On June 29, she allegedly tried again.
This time, 12-year-old Jackson lost his life. Her younger son, 7-year-old Jacob, was also critically injured, ABC 7 reports.
It started on Saturday morning when a neighbor called the police to report that Telnas was displaying strange behavior and had taken her child out of her home and across the street.
When authorities arrived, they found both boys unresponsive in an irrigation ditch on the side of the road.
The children’s grandmother and the neighbor that called police were trying to revive the two children.
Authorities then took over, but 12-year-old Jackson did not survive the attack. His death was determined to be caused by drowning, Visalia Times Delta reports.
His younger brother sustained critical injuries from drowning and remains hospitalized in a coma.
Elinor Brown, the boys’ aunt, told ABC 7:
“I will never unheard the wail that came out of my mother in law when I told her.”
In 2008, Telnas was 34 when she attempted to drown Jackson, who was an infant at the time.
As part of a plea deal, she pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal endangerment. It’s unclear if social services took measures to remove her son after the incident.
On Tuesday, Telnas was charged with one count of attempted murder causing great bodily injury, one count of murder with the special circumstance of lying in wait, and other charges related to assaulting and throwing spit on officers.
She is eligible for the death penalty if indicted due to the special circumstance, Tulare County Assistant District Attorney David Alavezo told ABC 30:
“There are two different kinds of ‘lying in wait.’ One would be if somebody hides behind a tree or a bush and waits for the victim to pass unseen and then shoots them. Another kind of lying in wait is where you invite somebody to dinner of the intention of once you get them over you’re going to kill them.”
Telnas remains behind bars. Her family says they are hoping that little Jacob will pull through and are waiting for his father. Brown said:
“We are not really sure what’s going to happen with little Jacob, and we need to get big Jacob to California as soon as possible.”