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COVID concerns a top priority for Boone County judge handling Elledge murder trial

Joseph Elledge
Joseph Elledge is charged with first degree murder

125 potential jurors will be called to the Boone County Courthouse in downtown Columbia Monday morning, as jury selection begins in Joseph Elledge’s murder trial.

The 26-year-old Elledge is charged with first degree murder for the 2019 death of his wife, Menggi Ji. Her remains were found in Rock Bridge state park earlier this year.

COVID issues are a concern for Judge Brouck Jacobs, who said in open court on Friday that any potential jurors who are sneezing or are sick will be turned away this morning at the courthouse door. The county has installed plexiglass in the jury box.

Jury selection is expected to take most, if not all, of today. Judge Jacobs, Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight and defense attorney Scott Rosenblum will be asking potential jurors what they’ve seen, heard or read in news media coverage about the case.

Judge Jacobs has set aside three weeks for the trial, and has ruled that jurors will be allowed to take notes in court. An auxiliary room has been established at the courthouse to accommodate the large number of reporters expected to cover today’s jury selection process.

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