Minnesota mother found guilty of killing her six-year-old son with a shotgun fired at him in her car
A Minnesota mother has been found guilty of killing her six-year-old son, shooting him with a nine-shot shotgun while he was in the back of her car.
Julissa Thaler, 28, showed no emotion as she was sentenced by a Minneapolis court Wednesday, after jurors took two hours to reach a verdict. She will be sentenced on February 16: the sentence carries an automatic life sentence, without parole.
In a trial deemed so gruesome, jurors were asked to advise, prosecutors say how Eli Hart was placed in foster care due to his mother’s problems mental health – but was returned to her two weeks before she killed him.
Thaler lost custody of Eli in January 2021 after the Dakota County Department of Social Services learned she was ‘manifesting psychosis and heard voices telling her to kill herself’.
Mary Moriarty, an attorney for Hennepin County, described it as ‘one of the most horrific cases I’ve encountered in my 30 years working in the criminal justice system’.
Eli Hart (left) was found dead in the trunk of his mother Julissa Thaler’s car in May
Eli is photographed with his father, Tory Hart. Tory is begging the authorities not to return the boy to his mother
Thaler ‘bought a handgun and learned how to use it’ shortly after the boy’s father, Tory Hart, filed papers asking the court to give him full custody.
Thaler’s internet search history includes how to load a shotgun, the most powerful knockdown potion, payment from life insurance if the child dies, and how much blood a six-year-old can lose, The Star Tribune reported.
Thaler carefully styled her hair for the photo
Thaler’s boyfriend at the time, Robert Pikkarainen, said they spent the day shopping with Eli, then returned home to eat pizza and watch movies, and play with their kittens.
He said that the boy refused to go to sleep, and the mother and daughter started fighting and fighting.
She then left the apartment with the child, carrying a handgun.
Thaler was arrested in Orono, five miles from her home in Spring Park, when a caller reported that the car she was driving had a broken rear window and a blown tire.
According to CBS News, police saw blood on Thaler’s hand.
They found the boy’s body in the trunk and the cause of his death was ‘multiple gunshot wounds’.
Tory Hart has repeatedly tried to warn CPS officials about his son’s disruptive behavior when he was in the care of his mother.
Tory Hart plans to take his son to live in Chetek, Wisconsin, where he runs a bait shop
Tory Hart’s fiancée said of the bond Tory and Eli shared: ‘They love each other so much. Tory’s day and week revolves around when he will see his son next, and when the next slumber party will take place… He lost a part of himself when [his son] wasn’t around’
Phone records show she shot her son in a remote parking lot in Minnetonka Lakes Regional Park in Minnetrista.
She then drove around the area, leaving his belongings behind.
Police found in landfills along her path her son’s backpack containing worksheets and kindergarten homework with ‘Eli’ written in the top right corner; a bloodstained car booster seat with a large bullet hole; clothing and human remains.
Julissa Thaler’s picture on her Facebook page
DNA testing showed his blood on her clothes and skin.
She was deemed fit to stand trial, but after turning down two offers from prosecutors to plead guilty to second-degree murder, including on January 30, her charges were settled. Elevated to first degree murder.
First degree murder, which means premeditated murder, is automatically sentenced to life in prison without parole.
‘I would never do that to my son,’ she told the court on January 30 when she rejected the plea agreement, Fox 9 reported.
‘I want to go to trial.’
Jury selection begins on January 30.
Eli’s father said his son was popular in elementary school and dreamed of becoming a firefighter.
“He was always really fun, open-minded, always full of energy,” Hart testified, Fox 9 reported.
He is suing the authorities for returning his son to Thaler.
After the verdict, Hart thanked detectives and the justice system.
“On behalf of Eli’s family, Tory Hart would like to thank the jury, the court, the Hennepin County District Attorney’s Office and judicial partners for their fine work,” he said.
‘This is a tragic and heartbreaking event that could have been avoided had Eli never been brought back to the dangerous home’.
Source: | This article originally belonged to Dailymail.co.uk