HomeChinese AmericanJury recommends 28 year sentence in wife killing

Jury recommends 28 year sentence in wife killing

A jury in Colombia, MO early Friday morning recommended 28 years in prison for the man convicted of killing his wife, Mengqi Ji.

KMIZ reports the jury announced its sentencing recommendation at 1 a.m. – six hours after convicting Joseph Elledge of 2nd degree murder.

“It’s such a huge waste, that a life like Mengqi would be snuffed out by such a selfish psychopath like the defendant,” Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Knight said to Fox4.

He described Ji as “kind, giving, and selfless.”

During the sentencing phase, the defense called Elledge’s mother, Jean, to the stand.

She called Ji’s death hearbreaking, but out of character for her son, according to KMIZ.

During the trial, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported that Elledge admitted burying Ji’s body in Rock Bridge Memorial State Park.

The defense described Ji’s death as a tragic accident. The prosecution maintained the Elledge hated his wife. It submitted secret recordings and journal entries to back its assertion.

Friends of Ji sat in the courtroom with pictures of the victim pinned to their shirts.

“Having been a family law attorney for 20 years, I see a lot of emotions in families,” Ji family attorney Amy Salladay wrote in an email to the Tribune. “… You didn’t see or hear emotion from Elledge when he described realizing that his wife’s body was cold and that she was dead. … Even if you wanted to divorce your wife and hated her, the lack of emotion shown by Elledge in court is stunning.”

Formal sentencing is scheduled for December 17. The judge cannot sentence Elledge to more than the 28 years suggested by the jury.

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