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Columbia’s Elledge heading to prison for 28 years for killing his wife

A Columbia man convicted of killing his wife in 2019 and burying her in Rock Bridge state park has been sentenced to 28 years in prison.

26-year-old Joseph Elledge was convicted of second degree murder for the death of his wife, Menggi Ji. Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight tells 939 the Eagle that the murder was horrific, and that Elledge was full of rage.

“What he did to Menggi, it was horrific. As I talked about today (Friday in court), and as was adduced at trial, she had four broken ribs all the way through, through and through breaks,” Knight says.

Elledge testified during the trial that the death was an accident. He testified that his wife died after they argued and fought after he discovered she was allegedly exchanging sexually-graphic messages with a man from China.

Prosecutor Knight blasted defense attorney Scott Rosenblum by name in open court on Friday, accusing him of lying to the jury about the accident defense. Knight elaborated with reporters, after Friday’s sentencing.

“The last thing that the defendant testified about, the last thing on direct examination, was that he claimed that he told (defense attorney Scott) Mr. Rosenblum about this accident story when he hired Mr. Rosenblum, which would have been in March of 2020,” says Knight.

Knight says Rosenblum told the court in December 2020 that Menggi Ji took off. Knight describes Elledge’s defense argument as fraudulent. Counselor Rosenblum fired back in open court on Friday, calling Prosecutor Knight’s comments outrageous. Rosenblum says Knight is not entitled to sit in on his meetings with a client, and suggests Knight doesn’t understand attorney-client privilege.

Judge Jacobs had to step in several times on Friday.

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