Police: Mom held on $2 million bond for murdering her 6-year-old son and driving around with his body in the trunk


HENNEPIN COUNTY, MN – Julissa Thaler has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder for allegedly killing her 6-year-old son, Eli Hart. She is being held on $2 million bond. If convicted, Thaler faces up to 40 years in prison.

Just a few weeks before his May 20, 2022, death, Thaler was awarded full custody of her son, following what records show was a two-year long custody battle.

Now a court has granted Eli’s father, Troy Hart, full rights to handle the final disposition and funeral for his son. Thaler was stripped of her parental rights to be involved in funeral arrangements and planning.

Here is what we know.

As reported by Minneapolis’ CBS 4, Orono police conducted a traffic stop last Friday after receiving calls about a vehicle being operated with a blown-out tire and a shattered rear window.

Officers conducting the stop noticed what appeared to be blood on Thaler’s hand. They also noted a shotgun shell and a spent casing that accompanied a bullet hole in the back seat. They had all the probable cause they needed to search the vehicle.

They released Thaler from the scene and called a tow truck to impound the vehicle. Prior to the car being towed, officers searched the car, and discovered the body of a child in the trunk. It was later confirmed that the deceased was, in fact, Eli Hart.

When officers went to her residence to arrest her, they found she had changed clothes, throwing her previous clothing in the washer and was trying to leave the home on foot.

According to records, parts of her sons remains were found in her hair.

Searching other locations where her car had been spotted, police found a backpack and a bloody car safety seat that had sustained what investigators believe to have been a shotgun blast.

Authorities say that Hart was shot at east 9 times.

New details have emerged surrounding the months just prior to Thaler being awarded custody of Eli.

As reported by Dan Abram’s Law & Crime, even her own family believe that the boy was in grave danger with his mother.

“I told the social worker and the guardian that I was worried that she would kill Eli to prevent his father from getting custody,” said Thaler relative and Eli’s former foster mother Nikita Kronberg. “I expressed those fears numerous times, and it was clearly brushed aside.”

Her father said the same thing.

“I gave the judge her detailed mental health history. I told him that she was displaying paranoia and auditory hallucinations. I said I feared for Eli’s safety. It all fell on deaf ears.”

Thaler reportedly got a restraining order on the boy’s father, aiding her in the custody battle.

Again, her father sheds light on the situation.

“Tory was the parent that Eli deserved,” he was heard to say. “He is the guy you want raising your grandchild.”

He claimed that there were no grounds for the restraining order. Hart was out of the state during the times that several of the alleged incidents occurred.

He also told members of the local media that his daughter had been diagnosed with multiple things to include depression, mood disorders and borderline personality disorder, as well dealing with a drug addiction.

Hart’s fiancé, Josie Josephson added to the claims of several others that they were raising their hands over warning signs, but they fell on deaf ears.

“No matter how many cries we cried, they ignored us,” she said. “No matter how many warning signs there were.”

And because no one listened, a little boy has lost his life, allegedly at the hands of his own mom.

A GoFundMe page has been setup to help defray the cost of the funeral. As of this writing, it has received almost $44,000.

California to 'expedite' processing of refugees over Americans for pharmacist licensing

Report: Aunt in police-defunded Baltimore stashes decomposing bodies of niece and nephew in trunk of her car

BALTIMORE, MD- According to authorities, a Baltimore woman is facing several changes for reportedly driving around with the body of her niece in her trunk for years and then placing her nephew’s body in the same trunk.

According to court documents, the woman drove with the body of her niece in the trunk of her car for more than a year and then in May put the girl’s dead brother next to her decomposing body. A routine traffic stop in Essex led to the discovery of the decomposing bodies of the two young children.

Police said Johnson’s car had a fake temporary tag and registration and she had been driving without a license. The officer cited Johnson to appear in court and told her the car would have to be towed.

According to charging documents, Johnson told the officer after receiving citations that “it don’t matter, I don’t be here in five days,” and “Y’all going to see me on the news, y’all going to see me on the news making my debut.”

When the officer cleared the trunk before the car was towed, he smelled decomposition coming from plastic bags. The decomposing bodies of both children were found in the car, one is a suitcase and one inside a plastic tote bag. Police said when the officer found the first child’s body, Johnson tried to flee the scene.

Baltimore County police have charged 33-year-old Nicole Michelle Johnson with neglect, failure to report the death of 7-year-old Joshlyn Marie James Johnson and 5-year-old Larry Darnell O’Neal, disposal of their bodies and child abuse that resulted in the death of the two children.

Johnson reportedly told police that in May 2020, she became angry with Joshlyn and hit her several times, causing the child to hit her head on the floor. Johnson then told police that she put Joshlyn’s body in a suitcase in her car.

Police stated that the cause and manner of their deaths are pending. According to charging documents, after the traffic stop, Johnson later told police that the girl’s body had been in the trunk of the car since May 2020 and the boy’s body was placed next to her two months ago.

An autopsy revealed that the girl had been malnourished and weighed just 18 pounds. According to the boy’s autopsy, he weighed just 21 pounds.

In May 2021, Johnson said that O’Neal told her he was tired. She told detectives that the boy went to sleep and never woke up. She also said that the boy had a wound on his left leg, but did not elaborate.

Johnson was the children’s aunt and had been entrusted to care for them since 2019. The children’s mother, Dachelle Johnson confirmed to investigators that she left her son and daughter with her sister.

Dachelle said she had moved to Maryland from Ohio in 2019 and that she was unable to get in touch with Nicole until March 2021. Johnson reportedly told detectives that after Dachelle moved to Maryland, Dachelle could no longer care for her children.

After her sister’s arrest, Dachelle wrote about the children in several social media posts. In one she wrote:

“I wish it was me instead. I wish I didn’t wake up tomorrow.”

Jhainaiye Tucker said she had been friends with Nicole Johnson and always knew her to be a “kids person.” She said:

“She loved kids. You could trust her with your kids.”

She added:

“I’m at a loss for words. I’ve never know her to hurt kids. It’s terrible.”

During the traffic stop, Johnson reportedly told officers that the decomposing smell in her car was from dirty blankets because she had been sleeping in her car.

Johnson was charged nearly four years ago with reckless endangerment and contributing to conditions that leave a child delinquent or in need of supervision. Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said in a statement:

“This truly was a devastating incident, one that not only shocked our community to its core, but significantly affected our patrol officers, forensic technicians, and detectives. I am grateful that the harrowing details of this case were thoroughly and quickly uncovered, resulting in an expeditious closure to this tragedy.”

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Early release approved for convicted murderer, sex offender who tried to rape then strangled 15-year-old girl

March 25th, 2021

VIRGINIA — A Virginia murderer who strangled a 15-year-old girl in 1988 will walk free next week after 32 years in prison. This, despite being sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years for the crimes of murder and attempted rape.

Gregory Joyner, of Lynchburg, Virginia, was convicted by a jury on April 5, 1989 and received a life sentence for first-degree murder and an additional 10 years for attempted rape of Sarah Jamison, 15.

Both sentences were the maximum for each offense, according to a FOX News report.

Joyner confessed to strangling Jamison on May 15, 1988 when he was 16 and burying her in the woods near her parents’ house after claiming he had consensual sex with her. Her body remained undiscovered and decomposing for two weeks in a shallow grave, according to FOX News.

When investigators recovered her remains, physical evidence had decayed, The Washington Post reported at the time.

Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney William Petty, who prosecuted the case, had sought a capital murder conviction against Joyner, which could have resulted in the death penalty. However, a lack of evidence of rape may have influenced the jury’s convictions on lesser charges, Petty said.

Petty said the medical examiner determined by bruises on Jamison’s body and its position that she probably had been raped. He also said police were led to Joyner, a high school classmate of Jamison’s, after reading an entry in Jamison’s diary that mentioned him.

During the trial, Joyner allegedly posed for news cameras and told them to get his “good side,” and never publicly expressed remorse for Jamison’s brutal slaying, according to prosecutors.

The Department of Corrections notified Jamison’s remaining living family that Joyner would be released on April 2, 2021. Her family was first notified in November 2020 that Joyner was granted early release in the form of parole, MSN reported.

A release from Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison indicated that Joyner, now 49, will live in the Petersburg area after he is freed and will be subject to supervision through the probation and parole office. He must also register with the state’s sex offender registry.

In a release, officials said the Department of Corrections Regional Victim Advocate had secured a travel ban to Lynchburg as part of Joyner’s parole supervision:

“This travel ban does not operate as a new violation of law wherein Joyner could be arrested for traveling to Lynchburg. However, if he is seen in the Lynchburg area, this can be reported to the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office.”

Harrison confirmed Joyner will be under supervised probation in the Petersburg area and cannot travel to Lynchburg:

“So, if he is in Lynchburg it’s not a violation where officers can come and arrest him right away, but if someone should see him, report that to my office, don’t confront him, just report it to our office. We can notify probation and parole in his district.”

Harrison said she agreed the travel ban is a necessary condition:

“We have information he still has family in the Lynchburg area so I’m very glad they put that term into his parole. The surviving family members are glad that is a term. That gives them some sense of comfort.”

However, Harrison did not like Joyner being granted an early parole:

“Releasing someone from prison who has 6 months left on a grand larceny charge is one thing. When you start paroling people who are violent murderers, really the worst of the worst is who they are letting out. It is really baffling as to why these are the people being released.”

Jamison’s father, Dell Jamison, said the parole board’s decision to release Joyner was “a big mistake,” according to FOX News. Jamison said:

“When Joyner murdered Sarah, it was for life. Why should he be released after only serving a part of his life? His sentence was for punishment, not rehabilitation – therefore he still has 30 or 40 years left on his sentence.”

Joyner was previously denied parole in 2017 and 2019, but new board members appointed by Virginia’s Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam approved granting early release to the murderer, according to Harrison.

Through a statement, Harrison and the Jamison family expressed their opposition to Joyner’s early release:

“After the news that Joyner was granted parole, Sarah Jamison’s family knew the day would come when Joyner would be released. Thankfully the family had time to prepare themselves mentally and emotionally for this date.

“However, the family and I remain absolutely opposed to his release. Joyner was tried by a jury and convicted of Murder and Attempted Rape. He received a sentence of Life plus 10 years. He has made no public expression of remorse.

“We have no information that he has changed in any way. After reading the transcripts of his interviews and the statements of the witnesses in this murder case, one fact remained clear: Gregory Joyner is a cold-blooded killed.

“I pray that he has changed. Citizens of this Commonwealth should not have to live in fear that he hasn’t. I renew my call for more transparency and accountability of the Virginia Parole Board.”

The Virginia Parole Board would not comment on individual cases, but the head of the board, Tonya Chapman, sent the following statement to ABC 13 News last December:

“The Virginia Parole Board’s monthly decisions are published on the Parole Board’s public website in accordance with Virginia Code 53.1-136 (6). As noted on the website, the Parole Board does not provide information as to individual parole decisions in response to questions submitted through the online contact form.

“As such, the Parole Board will not provide further comment to media requests for details on individual cases.

“Since parole was abolished about 25 years ago, the remaining offenders that are eligible for discretionary parole are generally convicted of serious offenses. These are very difficult cases and the Parole Board does not take lightly the responsibility to ensure that each release is compatible with public safety.

“Each Parole Board member has an independent vote with unique reasoning as to why they vote to grant or not grant a case. The Board takes many factors into consideration when voting a case.

“These factors include, but are not limited to: criminal history, victim input, age at time of offense, institutional adjustment, medical/mental health, pre-sentence report and sentencing information, time served, home plan, offender support, offender opposition, and risk assessment.

“Every case is unique with its own individual set of circumstances and each case must be viewed comprehensively.”

Darrel Gallier, Jamison’s brother-in-law, told WDBJ7:

“How did the parole board come up with the decision that this rapist and murderer has been rehabilitated?

“When you have an individual that lures a 15-year-old girl from her home in the middle of the night, rapes her, strangles the life out of her, and buries her in a shallow grave in the woods beside her home and when he was caught was found with different girls’ panties between the mattress in his bedroom, he is a danger to the young girls and should never get the chance to do this again to another young lady.

“He is a predator and I do not see any rehabilitation for that kind of behavior.

“I have a close relative that is in prison right now on marijuana charges and has already served 4 years out of 6 years and there is no talk about giving him early parole, but we can let murderers back out on the street. This is just nonsense.”

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