Man accused in wife's disappearance seeks change of venue

6 days 14 hours 18 minutes ago Monday, January 13 2020 Jan 13, 2020 Monday, January 13, 2020 12:49:39 PM CST January 13, 2020 in News
By: Steve Lambson, KOMU 8 News Content Manager

COLUMBIA - A man accused of playing a role in his wife's disappearance wants his upcoming trial to take place somewhere else.

Joseph Elledge, 24, faces child abuse and endangerment charges, filed after his wife, Mengqi Ji Elledge, was reported missing. Prosecutors have said they believe Joseph Elledge murdered his wife.

Police have searched an area of the Lamine River in Cooper County on numerous occasions related to the investigation, but so far haven't reported finding anything.

On Friday, Elledge's attorneys filed a motion for a change of venue. The motion cited concerns about "extra ordinary" news coverage of the case and how it could impact the impartiality of a jury chosen in Boone County.

"The nature and extent of the [news] coverage will substantially impair Mr. Elledge's constitutional right to a fair and impartial jury as guaranteed by both the federal and state constitutions," the motion said.

Currently Elledge is scheduled to stand trial in late February.

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