Orono, MN

Julissa Thaler: New indictment charges against mother accused of shooting her son

Lavinia Thompson

A grand jury has filed indictments against the woman accused of shooting her 6-year-old son in the backseat of her car, meaning she will face both a second and first-degree murder charge when she stands trial later this month, according to a CBS report.

Julissa ThalerPhoto byHennepin County

Police arrested 28-year-old Julissa Thaler in Orono, Minnesota on May 20, 2022 after a caller reported her for driving with a broken back window on her car and a blown out tire, CBS says.

The Star Tribune previously reported that when they pulled her over, police saw blood on her hand, but let her leave the scene to return to her apartment. After that, they discovered the body of her son, Eli Hart, in the trunk, and he had been shot up to nine times in the body and head.

Eli had been returned to his mother’s full custody on May 10, 2022 after he spent much of 2021 in foster care with his dad’s family members, who wrote on the GoFundMe page that Thaler filed numerous false orders of protection against Tory Hart, Eli’s dad, so he wouldn’t obtain custody.

Despite Tory giving the courts a full report on Thaler’s history of mental issues, unstable housing, and traffic violations, accompanied with behavior that made Tory and his family concerned for Eli’s safety, the boy was returned to her just ten days before police pulled her over, according to previous WCCO reports.

Tory has since filed a lawsuit seeking more than $75,000 in damages against Dakota County staff for failure to provide adequate child protection to his son, KARE11 reported last August.

Thaler refused to cooperate with attempts to give her a competency evaluation in the fall to determine if she was fit to stand trial and could understand the court process and charges, though a judge in late September 2022 determined she is fit to stand trial, KSTP said at the time.

In October, Thaler was offered a plea deal in which she had the option to plead guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for a 40-year sentence, but she rejected that, KMSP reported. Now, she will stand trial and face the new indictment, CBS says, also noting that her trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. 30, 2023.

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Long time true crime lover and blogger who has spent years reading and studying criminal psychology. I also write mystery fiction books, and have a diploma in journalism.


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