Mom Allegedly Kills 12-Year-Old Son -- & It Wasn't the First She's Tried

Jackson Telnas
ABC 7

A mom in Tulare County, California, has been arrested after police say she attempted to drown her two sons, killing one and seriously injuring the other. Oddly, this isn't the first time Sherri Telnas reportedly attempted to kill one of her children. According to police, the mom first tried to harm her older son, Jackson Telnas, in 2008. This time, police say, she killed Jackson and left his younger brother in critical condition.  

  • The mom was found on Saturday, June 29, after a caller reported a woman acting strangely with her two sons. 

    According to a press release from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, police received a call around 5:25 a.m. from a neighbor who reported that 45-year-old Telnas had taken her two children, brothers Jackson, age 12, and Jacob Ray Telnas, age 7, across the street to a field. 

    "While Deputies were en-route to the scene they were notified the two children were found in a full irrigation ditch near a corn field and were not responsive," the press release states.

    Authorities arrived at the scene and attempted to revive the two brothers and then rushed them to the hospital. Jackson was declared dead at the hospital. "Telnas was on scene when deputies arrived, but was trying to run away into an orchard," the press release said. Police were able to catch the mom and took her into custody without incident.

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  • Tragically, this wasn't the first time the mom had attempted to harm one one of boys. She allegedly tried to kill Jackson years ago.

    Family members Tim Telnas and Elinor Brown spoke to ABC 30, where they said that this wasn't the first time that Sherri attempted to take her son's life. "None of us believed it at first, because we found out through an old co-worker and at first it was like, 'Oh yeah that happened ten years ago,'" Brown said of a 2008 incident involving Telnas and Jackson.

    At the time, the mom was 34 years old and living in Mineral County, Montana. The mom allegedly attempted to drown Jackson, who was 10 months old at the time. According to People, the mom claimed that “bad thoughts or voices told her to do so," though she couldn't go through with it and instead she gave her son CPR and brought him to the hospital.

    At the time, Telnas pleaded no contest to two lesser charges of criminal endangerment as part of a plea agreement with the Mineral County Attorney's Office, ABC 30 reported. Telnas was released from a mental health facility in 2016, reports 3KRTV.

    "It is beyond devastating there is a lot of guilt held by most of my family," Brown added. "I am doing everything I can to hold us together as much as possible."

    The boys' aunt and uncle admitted that the alleged drowning drove a wedge between them and Telnas and her sons. "Sherri wasn't on the best of terms with the rest of the family," Brown said.

    But this latest incident has driven a knife through the heart of the entire family. "I will never unhear the wail that came out of my mother-in-law when I told her," Brown added.

  • The mom is currently being held without bail, while her younger son is still in the hospital in critical condition.

    An autopsy for Jackson is pending, reported People. His cause of death has yet to be determined. His younger brother is still alive, but in critical condition.

    "He was very smart, clever, quick-witted, and he was definitely a people person," Tim Telanas said of his nephew, Jackson.

    They describe 7-year-old Jacob Ray as being "selfless and empathetic."

    The family is now trying to get the boys' father, Jacob Telnas Sr., to Valley Children's Hospital, where Jacob Ray is being treated in the ICU.

    "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," Brown explained.

    Charges against the mom have yet to be filed, but she will make an appearance in court on Tuesday.

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