WOODLAND — Court proceedings for a Davis woman accused of drowning her daughter resumed Monday in light of a psychologist’s report that found Aquelin Crystal Talamantes mentally competent to stand trial.
“Based on the psychological evaluation … the court finds that Ms. Talamantes is competent at this time,” Yolo Superior Court Judge David Reed said during a brief hearing in the homicide case. He set a preliminary hearing for Jan. 10.
Talamantes, 29, is charged with murder and assault on a child causing death in connection with the Sept. 26 death of her 5-year-old daughter, Tatiana Garcia, whose body was discovered in the trunk of Talamantes’ car after the woman drove to a relative’s Sacramento apartment. Authorities believe the events leading to the girl’s death occurred in the family’s South Davis home.
Court proceedings stalled last month when Talamantes’ attorney, Supervising Deputy Public Defender Sally Fredericksen, declared a doubt as to her client’s mental competency, prompting Reed to appoint a psychologist to evaluate Talamantes at the Yolo County Jail, where she is being held without bail.
Asked to comment on the competency ruling, Fredericksen said she was “appreciative of the efforts taken by the medical staff at the jail to stabilize my client on her medications.”
Prosecuting attorney Ryan Couzens said Reed’s decision “speaks for itself.”
— Reach Lauren Keene at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene