COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
A judge will consider reducing a Columbia man's bond on charges of murdering his wife and disposing of her body.
Joseph Elledge is in the Boone County Jail without bond on a first-degree murder charge in the disappearance of Mengqi Ji. Thursday was the one-year anniversary of Ji going missing and police have not found her body. Prosecutors charged Elledge with murder in February.
Elledge is also charged with child abuse in connection with Ji's disappearance.
Judge Brouck Jacobs said Friday that he will hear arguments over reducing Elledge's bond Nov. 30.
Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Knight said he has 40 witnesses lined up to testify in the murder and child abuse trials.
"Twenty-three witnesses in the murder case along with 17 witnesses in the child abuse case," he said. Knight said more witnesses will be called to testify in this case than in an average murder case.
Knight said it is likely that a date will be set for the trial at the bond hearing.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began there have only been three jury trials in Boone County.
"This is a case that is going to take much longer than the average trial, I have already announced in open court that this case could last up to a month," Knight said.
According to court documents, Elledge may have strangled his wife before dumping her body in a remote area.
Police announced Wednesday that they would resume searching the Lamine River in Cooper County for Ji's body, but there is no confirmed date for when the search will begin.
Elledge has pleaded not guilty to all charges.