‘Horrific.’ Mom accused of killing one son, injuring another in corn field, deputies say

Sherri Telnas, 45.
Sherri Telnas, 45. Tulare County Sheriff's Office

A mother is being accused of killing her son and leaving another son seriously injured Saturday, in a case Tulare County Sheriff’s deputies are calling “horrific.”

Details are preliminary. The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that deputies around 5:30 a.m. responded to a home on Avenue 184 in Porterville for “suspicious circumstances.”

A caller told the Sheriff’s Office that a woman, identified as Sherri Telnas, 45, took her two boys — ages 12 and 7 — into a corn field across the street from their home. There, the children were possibly thrown into a ditch, the release said.

By the time deputies arrived, one of the boys was nearly dead. The caller said the woman had been acting strange.

Both boys were taken to a nearby hospital, but medical staff could not save the older child. The 7-year-old remains in a critical condition.

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The Sheriff’s Office did not elaborate on the boys’ injuries or the circumstances that happened prior to deputies’ arrival at the home.

Telnas was arrested and is expected to be charged with murder.

The Tulare County Violent Crimes Investigations Unit is taking over the case. Anyone with information can call the Sheriff’s Office at 559-802-9563 or 800-808-0588.

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Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado is a general assignment reporter at The Fresno Bee. He grew up in Porterville and has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Fresno State. He is a former student editor at the Fresno State and Fresno City College newspapers. His hobbies include reading, sleeping, running and taking care of his dog.