Friday, October 31, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Mother pleads not guilty to murder, assault charges

Talamantes1w

Aquelin Crystal Talamantes, 29, sits in Yolo Superior Court on Monday where she pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and assault upon a child under age 8, stemming from the death of her 5-year-old daughter, Tatianna Garcia. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | October 01, 2013 |

WOODLAND — As her relatives wept in the courtroom audience, a Davis woman pleaded not guilty Monday to murder and assault charges stemming from last week’s death of her 5-year-old daughter.

Aquelin Crystal Talamantes, 29, spoke softly as she confirmed her name to Yolo Superior Court Commissioner Janene Beronio and said she could not afford to hire her own attorney. Beronio appointed a public defender, who entered the not-guilty plea on Talamantes’ behalf.

Beronio set an Oct. 15 preliminary hearing date in the case and ordered that Talamantes continue to be held without bail at the Yolo County Jail.

“We still love you,” one tearful relative said to Talamantes as family members filed out of the courtroom. After speaking at length with a victim services advocate, they left the courthouse without comment, their arms wrapped around one another.

The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office filed a two-count complaint Monday charging Talamantes with felony murder and assault on a child with force likely to produce great bodily injury resulting in death. Police said Talamantes’ daughter, Tatianna Garcia, was found in the trunk of her mother’s car shortly after 2:30 p.m. last Thursday after Talamantes had driven from her South Davis home to a relative’s Sacramento apartment.

Officers and bystanders attempted lifesaving efforts, but the girl was pronounced dead at an area hospital. Davis police took over the investigation after determining the fatal assault likely occurred at the Glide Drive home where Talamantes and her two children had been staying with Talamantes’ sister for the past few weeks.

Talamantes’ other child, a 4-year-old boy, was unharmed.

Specific details surrounding the circumstances of Tatianna’s death remain a mystery, however. Sacramento County coroner’s officials, who performed the child’s autopsy Friday, are awaiting the results of further testing before ruling on the cause and time of death.

However, a man who was walking door-to-door on Glide Drive on Thursday afternoon believes he interacted with Talamantes around the time of her daughter’s demise.

Ben Taber, who works for a third-party vendor for PG&E, said he was knocking on doors to offer residents discounts on their natural gas bills when he encountered Talamantes at about noontime.

“I went through my spiel, and she seemed really weird,” Taber recalled in an interview Monday. He said Talamantes appeared disoriented as he spoke, repeatedly telling him, “I don’t understand what this is about. I don’t understand why you’re here.”

“It was almost like she was in another world,” Taber said. “She just had a blank look on her face the whole time I was there.”

A young boy stood at the door with the woman, but “I never saw another child,” Taber said. The boy had tousled hair as if he had just emerged from a nap, but “he didn’t seem distraught. He didn’t seem abused.”

Police say it was not the first time Talamantes was observed acting strangely that day.

Earlier, at about 9:30 a.m., a Davis police officer performed a welfare check at the Glide Drive duplex after Talamantes approached her during an unrelated traffic stop and began “acting erratically.” Davis police Lt. Paul Doroshov said last week that two officers looked through the home and saw two children, presumably Tatianna and her brother, laughing and playing on a couch.

The officers spoke with both Talamantes and a second adult and, finding no signs of neglect or abuse in the home, cleared the scene with no further action, Doroshov said.

A short time after his visit, Taber walked through the area again and noticed several police officers who “looked like they were looking for somebody, because they were going around the houses,” he recalled.

Doroshov confirmed Monday that his department received a call at about 1 p.m. from Talamantes’ sister, who also resides in the Glide Drive home, expressing concern about the children’s whereabouts.

About two hours later, when Taber passed by the house a third time after working an adjacent neighborhood, the home was surrounded by crime-scene tape. A car that had been parked in the driveway during Taber’s initial visit was gone.

Taber said he gave a statement to police at the scene, but it wasn’t until he watched the news that night that he grasped “the severity of the situation.”

“It was just eerie to me. Based on the timeline that I’ve seen, I had spoken to this lady either right before or right after she had (allegedly) killed her child,” said Taber, himself the father of an 8-year-old girl. He said he’s been saying “what if” to himself ever since.

“What if I had gotten there 30 minutes earlier? Or 30 minutes later?” Taber said. “Could I have altered the situation at all?”

— Reach Lauren Keene at lkeene@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Gardner guilty of murder, with special circumstances

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    State superintendent makes campaign stop in Davis

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Meet Poppenga at Saturday reception

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Bob Dunning: Lawn display causes a theological crisis

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Couple killed in Yolo County crash

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Same-party races challenge incumbents

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    State races test one-party rule

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2

     
    Indians celebrate Diwali with gala on Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Rairdan dinged for late report

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

     
    Veterans will tailgate at ‘Salute to Heroes’ game

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Wolk hailed for environmental votes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Yamada honored for leadership on aging issues

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Embroidery group meets at mall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Bet Haverim will hear Israel update

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Local artisans featured at holiday craft fair

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Got bikes? Donate ‘em!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Kids walk for friends at Birch Lane

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Explorit: Creep out with some spooky science

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4

    Shambhala offers Tai Chi class

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Bones for Life classes offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Enjoy wine, music and art at Sunday fundraiser for DHS choir

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Forum

    New-school cheating on the smartphone

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    My choices on Tuesday

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Garamendi, Dodd get my votes

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

     
    High hopes for Sunder

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Public service is in her heart

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    A calm, thoughtful voice

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Sunder is a perfect fit

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Best predictor is past behavior

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Vote for students, with Tuck

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Sports

    DHS plays undefeated Pacers Friday night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Blue Devil girls net an easy win at Grant

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie offense A-OK; now what about defense?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    In Davis, rugby is as American as apple pie

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
     
    Niemi’s 43 saves aren’t enough in loss to Wild

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Calling all artists for upcoming show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    ‘Birdman': A dark comedy that soars

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11

     
    DHS Madrigals host singing workshop

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

     
    Marcia Ball to play at The Palms

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Big, capable luxury defines Yukon

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Joseph Francis Gray

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, October 31, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER2

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER3

    RE/Max Gold

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER4

    Kim Eichorn

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER5

    Susan von Geldern

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Team Traverso

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Yolo FCU

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Juan Ramirez

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Tracy Harris

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER7

    Susan von Geldern

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER7

    Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

    Julie Leonard

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

    Joe Kaplan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER9

    Melrina A Maggiora

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER9

    Coldwell Banker

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER10

    Leslie Blevins

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

    Julie Partain

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

    Robin Garland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

    Jamie Madison

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

    Diane Lardelli

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

    Karen Waggoner

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER14

    Jamie Madison & Associates

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER14

    Lisa Haass

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER14

    Ciana Wallace

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER15

    Travis Credit Union

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER16

    Malek Baroody

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

    Marcelo Campos

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER18

    F1rst Street Real Estate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER20