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Boone County jury in Elledge murder trial hears hours of tapes in open court

Joseph Elledge
Joseph Elledge is charged with first degree murder

A Boone County jury in a high-profile Columbia murder trial learned Wednesday that Joseph Elledge and Menggi Ji both secretly recorded conversations with the other at times.

The jury listened to hours of tapes during Wednesday’s court proceedings. While there were no specific threats, the couple argued over Ji’s parents living at their small Columbia apartment, with Elledge saying on tape that her mother deserved a boot put up her rear end. The two argued numerous times on the tapes, with Elledge saying his wife doesn’t listen to him. Ji told her husband he talks too much. Elledge also describes Ji’s mother in one of the tapes as a snake.

It was difficult for reporters in courts to hear everything in the tapes, because the couple’s child is crying throughout several of the recordings. Court officials provided headphones to jurors, to help them hear the tapes more clearly.

Elledge is charged with first degree murder for his wife’s 2019 death. Defense attorney Scott Rosenblum has told jurors that the death was a tragic accident, not murder. Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight told the jury this week that Elledge was happy after his wife died, and played video games in the days after her death.

The jury is hearing from more prosecution witnesses this morning. Court resumed at 8:30 am at the Boone County Courthouse.

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