Minnesota mother Julissa Thaler was sentenced to life in prison for killing her 6-year-old son Eli Hart in May 2022. Thaler was convicted of first- and second-degree murder for shooting Eli nine times with a shotgun.
During her sentencing hearing, Thaler had an outburst in the courtroom during which she called the judge “garbage.” Hennepin County District Judge Jay Quam found her outburst to be inappropriate.
Quam added that losing a child is the possibly the worst thing that can happen to a parent, but that taking that child from the world is even worse. He added that it’s unimaginable that the person who took Eli’s life was his own mother. Quam gave Thaler a sentencing of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Thaler had been granted full custody of her son just 10 days prior to his death. The court ignored Eli’s father, Tony Hart, who expressed concerns about Thaler’s drug use and mental health issues. Hart has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Dakota County employees who granted Thaler custody. The case is set to be heard in a federal court in 2024.
Thaler was pulled over by Orono police in May 2022 for driving without a tire and with a smashed back window. Officers found pieces of flesh on her body and blood in her car during the traffic stop. According to Thaler, the blood was from a tampon. She also claimed that the flesh were remains from a deer that she picked up from a butcher. Police drove Thaler home after 30 minutes.
Later, Eli’s body discovered in the trunk of the car alongside the suspected murder weapon- a shotgun.
The brutal murder of Eli Hart has shocked the community and his family. Though Thaler was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, nothing can bring back Eli or undo the pain caused by his senseless killing.