Sunday, August 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

     
    Davis audience hears from civil-rights hero

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Legislators wrap up with water, ethics, guns bills

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Bob Dunning: This new kid might have a future

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Five U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State fighters

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    EU threatens Russia with more sanctions

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Rotary clubs offer Davis High students some life lessons

    By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Robbery, pursuit in Central Davis lead to one arrest

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

    Bauer garden marks one year

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Dinner will raise funds to help farmers in Burkina Faso

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Walkers welcome to join Sierra Club outings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Beamer Park featured at Stroll Through History

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Yolo Federal to hold photo contest

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Katehi will speak at Chamber’s community luncheon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Bean Feed supports for Yolo Democrats’ activities

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Tuleyome Tales: Be safe on wilderness trails

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Small wineries suffer big losses in quake

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Grande site has been a convoluted saga

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

     
    Say goodbye to summer with a ‘Final Blast’ at Explorit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Bay Bridge project’s rainy-day money is nearly gone

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A15 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    Already made herself at home

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Ad-free email? You can still find it at Davis Community Network

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Keep our green waste piles

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    How to make a good living

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Nate Beeler cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

     
    Changing local election dates benefits Democrats

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

    City panel working to tighten scrutiny of taxpayer dollars

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    Try round-robin storytelling at crafts fair

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    Speak out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Health problems mean he’s checked out

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A14

    Marriage doesn’t mean we agree on everything

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A14

     
    This epidemic should scare us

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14

    .

    Sports

    New coach, new tougher league for DHS football

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Coach likes what she sees from Devil field hockey squad

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD notebook: Coaches positive about FCS schools ‘playing up’

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils open with an impressive volleyball victory

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Stanford scores early, often in opener versus UCD

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Aggie harriers secure season-opening sweep

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Baseball roundup: Cats win late to pull even with Aces

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Comings and Goings: Is fro-yo craze melting?

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A13 | Gallery

     
    Sutter Davis Hospital honored again as a ‘best place to work’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

    Community pools its purchasing power to reduce the cost of solar

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20

     
    Engage3 attracts investment for shopping app

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A20

    California growers can use MBI’s new bioinsecticide

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20

     
    Sudwerk, Davis Food Co-op join for ‘co-hop-eration’ brew

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20 | Gallery

    .

    Obituaries

    Wanda P. Daley

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, August 31, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8