Trial Begins For Minnesota Mother Accused of Killing Young Son
Minneapolis, MN (KROC-AM News) - Jury selection is set to get underway today for the trial of a Twin Cities woman accused of the shotgun murder of her young son.
28-year-old Julissa Thaler is on trial this week, facing first and second-degree murder charges. It is alleged that she killed her six-year-old son by shooting him multiple times with a shotgun in the backseat of a vehicle last May.
Thaler was arrested after police in Mound pulled her over after officers responded to reports of an erratic motorist and spotted her driving a car that was missing one of its tires and had a shattered rear window. The officer noticed blood on the woman's hand and what appeared to be a bullet hole in the back seat, along with a shotgun shell and a spent shell casing inside the vehicle.
When investigators opened the trunk, they discovered the body of little Eli Hart and the shotgun that was used to kill him. An autopsy later determined the child had been shot at least 9 times.
Court records indicate Hennepin County child protection workers had earlier removed Eli from his mother’s home, but he was returned to her custody 10 days before he was killed. Prosecutors contend a heated custody battle between Thaler and Eli’s father was the motive for the fatal shooting.