The controversial trial regarding defendant Aquelin Crystal Talamantes allegedly drowning her 5-year old daughter Tatiana Garcia kept its attention on the defendant’s mental state.
Aquelin Talamantes was emotionless throughout her sister’s testimony. District Attorney and lead prosecutor Ryan Couzens remained steadfast in his attempt to prove that there were personal issues other than mental illness that may have influenced Talamantes’s decision to drown her infant daughter.
Talamantes’s younger sister Priscilla was the second sibling witness to be called to the stand Wednesday morning. The prosecutor asked her a number of questions concerning her relationship with Talamantes during the months leading up to Tatiana’s death.
“She just wasn’t there. We would be talking and I brought up [pregnancy] and she would say ‘What?’ and started ranting about something else.”
Priscilla was emotional throughout her testimony, crying several times when asked specifically about her discovery of Tatiana in the trunk of Talamantes’s car. She continued to testify about Talamantes’s paranoia during the incident and referred to her wild confusion prior to the police’s arrival.
“I can’t find her, Priscilla, I can’t find her…there are police [and] they’re trying to get me.”
Couzens then focused his attention on Talamantes’s mental state, referring to the possibility that the defendant was manipulative to her sisters and had an abusive drug problem. He questioned Priscilla on Talamantes’s history of pain killers, ecstasy, and marijuana usage. However, she adamantly refuted any possibility that her sister was influenced by drugs.
“Our older sister Elisa was not very nice to [Talamantes] sometimes. They had an up and down relationship with each other.”
Talamantes’s and Priscilla’s mother was murdered when they were infants. Their eldest sister, Elisa, helped raise the family following their mother’s unexpected death.
Further testimony will continue for potentially 6-8 weeks in Department 3 at Yolo Superior Court. Judge Stephen Mock will continue to oversee the trial.
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