Today marked the third day of the trial involving former Davis resident Aquelin Talamantes. Talamantes is being charged for murdering her five-year-old daughter, Tatiana Garcia.
First to the stand was the prosecution’s witness, Kathleen Boyd. Boyd works for the Sacramento Police Department as a forensic investigator. On Sept 26, 2013, Boyd and her task force were authorized to investigate the household Talamantes was staying at.
DDA Ryan Couzens approached the witness on the stand with three manila envelopes that were filled with prescription bottles of medication. Boyd was asked to open the sealed envelopes and was asked to identify what was retrieved at the residence. The first envelope held two bottles of Amoxicillin, which was prescribed to Talamantes. When asked by DDA Couzens where these two bottles were found, investigator Boyd responded by saying “in the backyard.” A confused Couzens asked, “In the backyard?” for reassurance. Boyd responded, “Yes, under a tarp.” The next envelope held an empty prescription bottle of Docusate. Docusate is a medicine used to treat occasional constipation. This bottle was found in the kitchen. The third envelope held a bottle of cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxer, which was found in the laundry room.
Next to the stand for the prosecution was Dr. Captane Thompson, the psychiatrist who evaluated Talamantes on two different days after the incident. These two days were November 21, 2013, and December 4, 2013.
When asked about the demeanor of Talamantes on those two days, Dr. Thompson responded by saying, “She was cooperative, but very emotional. She wasn’t able to talk much, she was clearly very distraught. Her vocabulary was limited, as was her ability to express herself.”
On his first visitation with Talamantes on November 21, Doctor Thompson asked Talamantes about her mental state the day the alleged murder took place. She had responded by saying, “Voices were telling me negative stuff. My daughter told me something that upset me. She said the police were going to cut my head off. The police bought bad luck.” Talamantes was crying at this point, Dr. Thompson informed Couzens, saying she told Thompson, “I wasn’t thinking, it was an accident.”
When asked by Dr. Thompson if she had been taking her medicine, Talamantes responded by saying “I needed forty-one dollars to pay for the pills, I could not afford it.” She also told the doctor that she was trying to protect her daughter, “that CPS would have taken her daughter away that morning because she wasn’t in the right state.”
On December 4, Talamantes told the doctor that she thought the cops would “cut her head off.” When asked by the psychiatrist why she drowned her daughter, Talamantes responded by saying that she was protecting her daughter by drowning her, so the police wouldn’t cut her head off.
On the day of the incident, Talamantes informed the psychiatrist that she didn’t take her medicine. She also asked the doctor, “Why didn’t the police officer take them away?” When asked why she did not call her sisters for help on that day, an emotional Talamantes had responded by saying she was “not in the right state of mind.”
Also on December 4 Talamantes told the psychiatrist “I miss my daughter, she was beautiful. My family should have helped me, but they were too busy.” When asked again about the drowning, Talamantes informed the doctor that “it was done face up, and quick.” Dr. Thompson, who has read previous files on the mental status of Talamantes, noted that one observation by another doctor had stated that Talamantes believed that her daughter was the “devil, satan, 666.” When questioned by Couzens of the location of this note, a confused Thompson could not remember which doctor noted Talamantes saying this.
Next on the stand for the prosecution was Talamantes’ former Davis roommate, Dulce Morales. Morales has known Talamantes since the seventh grade. They were roommates during the time period of June 1 – July 15 of 2013. The apartment held Morales, another roommate by the name of Anabel, and Talamantes’ two children.
When asked by Couzens if Talamantes behaved unusually while she was living with Morales, Morales shook her head and said, “There was no unusual behavior, no seizures, no voices, and no twitches. She was normal like everyone else. She had a strong character and an attitude to match it.” Couzens interrupted Morales by asking what she meant by attitude. The witness responded by saying, “She was grumpy all the time.” Couzens asked Morales if she had ever been threatened by Talamantes. Morales, raising her voice, informed Couzens that Talamantes had threatened to kick her ass, but she wasn’t in fear for her life because Talamantes did not act upon the threat. Morales also stated that Talamantes was a “homebody,” and that she seemed to be jealous of Morales hanging out with friends and neighbors.
When asked about Talamantes’ relationship with her children, Morales told Couzens that Talamantes wasn’t very focused, but she fed the children and gave them baths. Couzens asked the witness if there were any signs of neglect, and Morales responded, “I mean she was neglectful, but only when her boyfriend was there. They would lock themselves up in her room, and the kids would be crying and banging on the door, and she would just ignore them.”
Morales lived with Talamantes only for this short time. When questioned by Couzens, Morales spoke of two incidents. The first incident was when the gas was turned off for two weeks. When Couzens asked why, the witness responded by saying she had given Talamantes her half off the utility bill, but Talamantes did not pay the bill, and kept the money.
The second incident Morales spoke of was the last day she ever spent at the apartment. Morales was locked out of the house for the whole day. Every two hours she would check if someone was home, but no one answered. Then finally around midnight she saw that Talamantes’ room light was on and she knocked on the window. Talamantes open the door and informed Morales that she was home all day. A frustrated Morales chose to move out the very next day.
When asked by Couzens if she observed any drug use in the household, Morales responded by saying, “There was no smell of drugs, or no drugs in the apartment.”
Further testimonies will continue for the next 6-8 weeks in Department 3.
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