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Julissa Thaler indicted by grand jury on charges she murdered her son

In September, Thaler was ruled competent to stand trial on charges she killed her son, Eli Hart, after refusing to cooperate with a court-appointed psychiatrist.

MINNEAPOLIS — Editor's note: The video above first aired on KARE 11 on Dec. 15, 2022.

A Hennepin County grand jury has indicted 28-year-old Julissa Thaler on two counts of murder, one in the first-degree and one in the second-degree, for the death of her son Eli Hart in May 2022.

In September, Thaler was found competent to stand trial on charges that she killed her 6-year-old son after she previously refused to cooperate with a court-appointed psychiatrist.

Records show Thaler's bail was set at $2 million during her court appearance on Jan. 13. She was also ordered to have no contact with witnesses ahead of her jury trial, which is scheduled to begin on Jan. 30, 2023.

On May 20, 2022, Eli was found in the trunk of a car Thaler was driving earlier in the day. That morning, police in Mound pulled over Thaler after they noticed her car was missing a front tire and had the back window shot out.

A criminal complaint said police saw a live shotgun shell and a spent casing inside the vehicle, and what appeared to be a bullet hole in the back seat. They also noticed blood on Thaler's hand but released her from the scene.

Shortly after she left, police determined there was probable cause to search the car and they located the body of a child, later identified as Eli Hart, in the trunk along with a shotgun.

In October, Thaler pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

Ten days before police found Eli's body, a judge had closed a child protection case for the boy – despite serious red flags raised by court workers about his mother’s care for her son, case records show.

Among those concerns were that Thaler, who had a history of severe mental illness, had stopped seeing her therapist, which raised concerns about the boy’s own mental health and well-being, their unstable housing, and Thaler's failure to remain law-abiding, including facing a charge for stealing drugs the year before.

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