The 7-year-old boy who was found unresponsive in a deep irrigation ditch died Saturday night at Valley Children’s Hospital.
He was found a week ago Saturday morning, June 29, along with his 12-year-old brother, also unresponsive in a full irrigation ditch near a corn field in the 18900 block of Avenue 184.
The 12-year-old died as a result of the incident and the 7-year-old died a week later. The boys’ mother, 45-year-old Sherri Telnas, is suspected in the death of both children, Tulare County homicide detectives stated.
An autopsy ruled the 12-year-old’s death was caused by fresh water drowning.
Sherri Telnas, 45, has been charged with drowning the 12-year-old. She will most likely face an additional homicide charge for the 7-year-old’s death.
Telnas told Tulare County Sheriff’s Office deputies she drowned her children because “they were possessed by demons,” court documents stated.
The 12-year-old died after being submerged in water, deputies stated. The 7-year-old suffered a trumatic brain injury likely caused by lack of oxygen.
An autopsy will be done to determine the exact cause of death
Telnas was arraigned last week and faces one count of murder with the special circumstance of lying in wait, one count of attempted murder causing great bodily injury, one count of battery, and one count of battery on a peace officer.
The count of murder with the special circumstances of lying in wait means Telnas faces the death penalty.
Telnas planned to enter a not guilty plea. Telnas next court date is August 15 in Department 17 of the South County Justice Center.