COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Boone County Circuit Court Judge Brouck Jacobs denied a motion to dismiss a charge of endangering the welfare of a child in the case of Joseph Elledge on Thursday.
Online court records show Jacobs denied the motion from Elledge's attorney John O'Connor after it was taken into advisement on Monday.
Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight filed an opposition to O'Connor's motion on Wednesday. The court document said Jacobs should deny the motion as it would require an improper ruling before the trial.
O'Connor submitted a reply to Knight's opposition on Thursday. Court documents say O'Connor wanted to dismiss the charge because it doesn't directly relate to Mengqi Ji Elledge's disappearance.
In the document, O'Connor quotes Knight from a hearing on Monday where Knight apparently said he wasn't aware of any cases where people have been charged with endangering the welfare of a child for separating a mother from a child.
Elledge was charged with a felony count of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly separating his child from the child's mother after Mengqi disappeared in October. He pleaded not guilty to all three charges.
O'Connor filed with the court on Tuesday to select jurors from Pettis County. Jacobs approved O'Connor's motion to change the venue for jury selection on Monday. It's unclear when jury selection could begin.
According to the document, the defense is expected to file new motions that could affect Elledge's trial date. Online court records show Elledge's trial is scheduled to start on Feb. 25.