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Boone County judge sets aside three weeks for Elledge murder trial; jury selection starts next Monday

Joseph Elledge
Joseph Elledge is charged with first degree murder

200 potential jurors will be called for a high-profile Columbia murder trial at the Boone County Courthouse next week.

Jury selection will begin next Monday morning for Joseph Elledge’s trial. He’s charged with first degree murder for the October 2019 death of his wife, Menggi Ji.

Boone County Circuit Judge Brouck Jacobs announced in court Friday that 100 potential jurors will be called next Monday, with another 100 coming in on Tuesday.

Judge Jacobs has set aside three weeks for the trial, but says he’d like to finish it in two weeks. The judge indicates the trial will go into evenings.

The judge says he’ll ask potential jurors about what they’ve seen and heard from news media coverage.

Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight and defense attorneys clashed again in court on Friday.

The disagreement involves Prosecutor Knight’s statement in open court in September that cell phone records place Elledge at the grave site of his wife at Rock Bridge State Park in October 2019. Defense attorney Scott Rosenblum accused the prosecutor of “poisoning the jury” that day. Prosecutor Knight told a judge on Friday that defense attorneys are launching personal attacks on his integrity, and he called on the defense to stop what he calls personal attacks.

Mr. Knight says he needs to be able to lay a foundation of what he’s doing in court. The defense worries that it will impact jury selection.

Knight has subpoenaed 180 witnesses to testify at trial

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