Mother accused of killing 12-year-old son, injuring younger son

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A mother with a violent history towards her children is accused of killing her 12-year-old son and injuring another.

Tulare County Sheriff’s Department arrested 45-year-old Sherri Rene Telnas from Tulare County in connection with her son’s death. 

Deputies answered a call regarding a “suspicious circumstance” early Saturday morning to the 18900 block of Avenue 184 in Strathmore, a city just north of Porterville. 

Telnas was described by the caller as acting strangely and seen taking the boys across the street to an unknown location. 

According to detectives, when deputies arrived they found the two boys unresponsive in a full irrigation ditch near a corn field. 

Both were taken to a local hospital where the 12-year-old died from his injuries and the younger child was listed in critical condition. 

No more than 10 houses sit alongside Avenue 184, yet many neighbors are still trying to understand how this occurred close to their home. 

Neighbor Luana Leavens, spoke to KGET and described the disturbing news as unheard of in their farming community. 

“We had a lot of questions, like why does she have him? Why would you do this?” said Leavens. “There was a lot of questions. [It’s] just disturbing. It’s just hard to understand.” 

Leavens has been living in the area most of her life and says news like this is not common.

“It’s very peaceful,” she recalled. “You might hear a gunshot from a hunter once in a while, but that’s really about it. You don’t hear about horrific things like this happening.” 

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