PORTERVILLE, California – 45-year-old Sherri Telnas was arraigned in Tulare Superior Court on Wednesday for several felony charges including attempted murder and murder.
While waiting, she interrupted the judge several times and her attorney said she was “obviously confused and scared.”
First, while the judge was dealing with other cases, she said: “excuse me, I am Sherri.” Then a few moments later she said again, “excuse me, my name is Sherri Telnas.” The judge told her he would get to her case soon, and minutes later she exclaimed: “I love Jesus.”
Telnas was escorted out of the room until public defender Sylvia Hannah arrived.
Legal Analyst David Mugridge said these comments could be used against Telnas in the future.
“Anytime somebody does something unusual,” said Mugridge. “That sounds like something unusual. That is something the defense attorney is going to look at and it should cause them some concern, and I am sure it has.”
The outbursts come just four days after police said Telnas drowned her 12-year-old son Jackson and attempted to drown her 7-year-old who is still in critical condition.
Mugridge said it will probably lead to a mental evaluation. If it is determined she is not fit for trial, the case will be put on hold. Mugridge said she would possibly be sent to a mental facility until and arbiter decides she is able to proceed.
“If the person never rehabilitates, they never fain their competence. Then, the proceedings are suspended indefinitely and there will be an annual review to see what the status is and the case simply remains in limbo,” said Mugridge.
Telnas plead not guilty to her charges, which include murder and attempted murder. She also waived her rights to a speedy trial. Her preliminary hearing will be August 15th and was not awarded bail.