On the Thursday morning, a crowd had formed outside of Department 17 in the South County Justice Center in Porterville. After the department doors were opened around 9:30 a.m., and the public was allowed in, nearly every seat in the court room was full, as the department's calendar was jam packed.
The rows in the front of the courtroom, separated from the general public and dedicated to seating those in custody were partially filled, as several inmates were in court waiting for their cases to be called. One inmate on calendar however wasn't present in the courtroom. That inmate was Sherri Telnas, the Strathmore mother accused of drowning both of her young sons in an irrigation ditch in July. Her case was pushed back to 2020.
A few cases were called to be heard by the presiding judge, Michael B. Sheltzer. Those cases were moved through quickly, and shortly before 10 a.m. Telnas' case was called before Sheltzer. The case was set to be scheduled for a preliminary hearing.
Once her case was called, a bailiff exited the courtroom, returning moments later with Telnas. Clad in an orange shirt, navy pants and clinking shackles, Telnas stepped up to the first seat to the left in the front row for inmates and took her seat. She stared in front of her without any expression on her face. Telnas' lawyer approached her and they began quietly whispering back and forth to each other, as the judge gathered his file on the case.
Once Sheltzer was prepared, the hearing proceeded. Sean Sangrene stated he would be representing the prosecution and Mia Stanley stated she would be defending Telnas in the case. Upon hearing her name, Telnas stood up and folded her hands together in front of her.
The hearing began with Stanley stating she has new discoveries in the case, and requested the preliminary hearing be rescheduled to after the first of the year in 2020.
Sangrene argued the hearing didn't need to be set out quite that far, although he did acknowledge that more time would be needed to review the new discoveries.
Without any further discussion, Sheltzer decided to reschedule the preliminary hearing for the first of the year, allowing time for thorough review of the case for both the prosecution and defense.
Telnas will appear in court again on January 10, 2020, in Department 17 of the South County Justice Center at 8:30 a.m.