A California mother was arrested Saturday after trying to drown her 12-year-old son and seriously injuring his younger brother, authorities said Monday.
Sheriff’s deputies found Jackson Telnas, 12, and his 7-year-old brother, Jacob Ray Telnas, unresponsive in a full irrigation canal near a cornfield.
The sheriff’s office said they were notified that a woman, identified as their mother, Sherri Renee Telnas, 45, was acting strangely and had taken them to a field across the street.
An autopsy said Jackson Telnas died of drowning, and the sheriff’s office said the younger boy is hospitalized in critical condition but didn’t detail what injuries he suffered.
Telnas was arrested in her rural home near Porterville, about 270 miles (435 kilometers) south of San Francisco, AP reported. Authorities didn’t know if she had an attorney who could speak on her behalf.
Jackson was 10 months old when Telnas first tried to drown him in the Clark Fork River in Montana in 2008, the Mineral Independent reported at the time.
Telnas said “bad thoughts or voices” had told her to drown the baby, Sheriff Mike Boone said in a statement.
“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,'” Jackson and Jacob Ray’s aunt, Elinor Brown, told KFSN-TV.
According to AP, Telnas pleaded no contest to two counts of criminal endangerment and was sentenced in 2009 to the custody of Montana health officials because of a history of mental illness, Sheriff Mike Boone said. Telnas was released in November 2016, KRTV reports.
“It is beyond devastating, there is a lot of guilt held by most of my family,” Brown said. “I am doing everything I can to hold us together as much as possible.”
According to KFSN-TV, the boys’ uncle Tim Telnas described Jackson as “very smart, clever, quick-witted, and he was definitely a people person.”
According to the Tulare County district attorney’s office, charges against Telnas have yet to be filed.
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