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Defense asks for delay in Joseph Elledge trial

Joseph Elledge pleads not guilty to three felony charges.
Joseph Elledge set for trial in connection to wife's disappearance.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Defense attorneys want a delay in Joseph Elledge's upcoming murder trial.

Attorney Scott Rosenblum asked Judge Brouck Jacobs to consider pushing back the start of the Nov. 1 trial in Boone County. Rosenblum said "voluminous" records sent to them by prosecutor Dan Knight give them more work to do to vet the information before trial.

Elledge is set to go to trial on Nov. 1 for the alleged murder of his wife, Mengi Ji. Elledge has been in custody since November 2019, when Knight called him the "prime suspect" in his wife's disappearance. Authorities found Ji's body in March at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park following searches at several parks and a river in Mid-Missouri. Police have theorized that Elledge strangled Ji and left her body in the park because they found no blood left behind at their apartment.

Rosenblum said the records he wants further time to review came to their office on Aug. 16 and Sept. 2. Those include Missouri State Highway Patrol forensic lab reports and information from two doctors. Rosenblum said those witnesses may be called at trial to talk about "soil science, meteorology, and plant sciences."

"These are very specific fields of study and Defense Counsel needs adequate time to hire its own experts to evaluate the findings of these witnesses and then depose the State's witnesses to competently prepare a defense in this case," Rosenblum wrote.

Knight said at a hearing on July 15 that he wanted to keep the jury trial on schedule. A jury will come from Warren County, about an hour east of Columbia.

Lucas Geisler

Lucas Geisler anchors the 5 p.m. show for ABC 17 News and reports on the latest news around mid-Missouri at 9 and 10 p.m.

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