Mother accused of killing son she tried to drown in 2008

A California woman who tried to drown her 10-month-old son in 2008 murdered him 11 years later, long after she had regained custody, police say.

After Sherri Renee Telnas told police in Montana she had tried to drown Jackson Telnas in a river, she spent less than a year in a state psychiatric hospital under a plea deal, the AP reports. She won custody of the boy in a 2010 divorce settlement, then reunited with the father in 2012 and had another son with him.

The 45-year-old woman was arrested in Porterville, Calif., on Saturday after a caller told 911 dispatchers she was “acting strangely” and had taken the two boys to a cornfield, People reports.

Police say 12-year-old Jackson and his 7-year-old brother, Jacob, were found unresponsive in an irrigation ditch and were taken to a hospital, where Jackson died.

Authorities say Jackson died of drowning. Jacob is in critical condition in the hospital.

In Montana, Mineral County Sheriff Mike Boone says Telnas said in 2008 that “bad thoughts or voices” caused her to try to drown the boy. She pleaded no contest to two lesser charges of criminal endangerment.

Ellie Brown, who is married to the boys’ uncle, says their father has been out of the picture for around a year. She says that when they heard the devastating news about the boys Saturday, they initially thought somebody was talking about the 2008 incident.

“I will never unhear the wail that came out of my mother-in-law when I told her,” she tells ABC7. Telnas has been charged with murder and attempted murder. (Read more California stories.)

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