On Wednesday morning in Department 22 of the South County Justice Center in Porterville, with Judge Anthony Fultz presiding, Sherri Telnas appeared for her first hearing in court.
Telnas has been accused of murdering her 12-year-old son by drowning him in an irrigation ditch in Strathmore and causing great bodily harm by attempting to drown her 7-year-old son, among other charges.
Telnas entered the court room barefoot wearing black pants, a red Tulare County jail top, and shackles on both her wrists and ankles. After taking her seat, Telnas tucked her hands into her top and began to fidget with them under the material.
As she waited for her case to be called, Telnas had two vocal outbursts.
“My name is Sheri, Sherri Telnas” and “I love Jesus” echoed of the silent walls off the court room. Because of these outbursts, Telnas was escorted back to the holding cell, where she waited until her case was called. Her public defender eventually made her way back into the holding cell to speak with Telnas before the judge called her case.
Once her case was called, Telnas re-entered the courtroom, and was told to sit at the left most seat. As Telnas passed the seat she was instructed to take, the bailiffs had to physically pull her back and place her in the designated seat.
The judge asked what plea Telnas would be entering, and her public defender answered that she would be entering a not guilty plea, and will be denying all special allegations.
When asked if she would waive her rights to a hearing scheduled within 10 court days, Telnas initially said no, but after speaking with her public defender, she ended up waiving her rights to a hearing within 10 days.
Telnas' public defender stated to the judge that there would be no way that the defense would be ready within those 10 days, and may not even be fully prepared for the case within 60 days. The public defender also stated that they haven't received any information regarding Telnas' case, and would need plenty of time to thoroughly prep themselves on the defense side.
Judge Fultz stated that he would need Telnas to agree to a 60 day waiver in order to schedule the next hearing. When asked if she understood this, Telnas replied no and denied the judge his request for the waiver. After a quick and quiet conversation with her public defender, Telnas revoked her initial answer and ultimately agreed to the 60 day waiver.
Telnas' next court hearing is scheduled for August 15 in Department 17 of the South County Justice Center.