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Minneapolis, MN (KROC-AM News) - After reviewing the results of psychological evaluations, a judge in the Twin Cities has ruled a 28-year-old woman is competent to stand trial for the shotgun slaying of her six-year-old son.

The ruling was issued today in the case of Julissa Thaler of Spring Park. She is charged with second-degree intentional murder for shooting the child up to nine times with a shotgun. She was arrested in May following a traffic stop in Mound that led to the discovery of Eli Hart's body and a shotgun in the trunk of the vehicle she was driving.

The criminal complaint says the traffic stop was initiated by citizen complaints about a motorist driving erratically in a car that was missing a tire and had a shattered rear window. The officer who made the stop then noticed blood on Thaler's hand, what appeared to be a bullet hole in the back seat, a shotgun shell, and a spent casing inside the vehicle.

photo courtesy of GoFundMe
photo courtesy of GoFundMe

Thaler had been involved in a custody battle with the boy's father before the tragic incident. The father has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against two employees of Dakota County. The lawsuit claims the employees were negligent in returning Eli Hart to his mother's custody in May after the child was placed in the custody of Dakota County earlier in the year.

A GoFundMe page set up to help pay for funeral expenses has raised more than $45,000.


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