Sherri Telnas, the mother accused of drowning both of her sons in an irrigation ditch near Strathmore, hadn’t stepped into a courtroom at the South County Justice Center in Porterville since August. 

At her last court appearance, Telnas’s preliminary hearing date was pushed back to early 2020, and on Friday morning the preliminary hearing setting was pushed back once again to June.

Once the doors of Department 17 opened to the public, a wave of bodies flooded through the double doors. Upon entrance into the court room, visitors could almost immediately identify Telnas sitting in the front row of the designated seats for inmates. Clad in a grey sweater layered under an orange shirt, black pants and orange shoes, Telnas looked much different from her first startling appearance in the courtroom, where she was prone to shouting random statements during routine court proceedings. 

On Friday, she sat calmly in her seat, scanning each face that walked through the door. With her hands folded politely in front of her, she waited patiently for the presiding judge, Michael B. Sheltzer, to call her case.

She didn’t have to wait long. Telnas’s case was the second one called by the judge, and the defense and prosecution both appeared. 

As the hearing began, a request to push the preliminary hearing came almost immediately. The request was met with little objection, and the defense requested setting a date for a preliminary hearing in June. Sheltzer stated he may have some conflicts as he will be out of the week of June 8 and the week of June 15. After a brief discussion, it was decided a date in the later part of June would work best for all parties involved.

Telnas’ next court date is set for Tuesday, June 23, at 8:30 a.m. in Department 17 of the South County Justice Center in Porterville.

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