The murder trial of Joseph Elledge: Jury hears Elledge’s text conversations days after Ji disappeared | Mid-Missouri News

COLUMBIA – The court docket reconvened for day 7 of Joseph Elledge’s murder demo around 8:30 a.m. Monday. 






Joseph Elledge


The morning began with testimony from Max Lawson, a Missouri Condition Highway Patrol investigator who was part of the crew that exhumed Mengqi Ji’s entire body. He discussed the process for exhuming continues to be, which concerned a number of modest hand shovels. 

At a single point for the duration of Lawson’s testimony, prosecuting legal professional Dan Knight laid on the ground and asked Lawson to placement him as carefully to how he identified Ji’s continues to be as achievable.

Lawson positioned Knight on his remaining side with his arms pointing out and bent in front of him, and legs bent with his ft in line with his again. 

Lawson also stated the body was observed near tree roots. He stated many roots appeared to have been slice about the place Ji was uncovered. He mentioned there would have been a tree root just in which Ji’s skull was identified. 

The courtroom also heard from Christine Edwards, a plant population geneticist who analyzed crops at Ji’s gravesite and compared them to these identified on Elledge’s boots.

Edwards is one of four expert witnesses that the protection tried to exclude from the trial. Judge Brouck Jacobs denied that movement in a pre-demo listening to.  

Edwards defined that she and Alex Linan, a soil scientist who testified on Saturday, labored with each other on accumulating samples from the grave web site and matching them to needles discovered in Elledge’s boots. 

Edwards said they uncovered 5 samples from Elledge’s boots that matched a few trees close to the grave website. A few samples in the still left boot matched a juniper tree immediately higher than the grave web page. Just one sample from the proper boot matched an additional tree about 20 feet absent, and a person sample matched a tree close to the highway. 

In cross examination, the protection questioned Edwards about coincidental matches- where by samples may match despite not getting the very same. Edwards claimed she did not do the calculation to see how probable that would be. 

Jurors also read from Jeff Adams, who analyzes details from cell phones and other products. Prosecutor Dan Knight confirmed evidence from:

  • Mengqi Ji and Joseph Elledge’s mobile phones
  • Ji’s iPad and computer
  • A obtain of Elledge’s Google account data

Knight confirmed just about 50 images over the course of a year with Ji and their daughter.  Knight also confirmed an argument in a text discussion involving Ji and Elledge. “You are incredibly cold most of the time and your actions to me are not considerate when you are in a chilly stage,” Ji explained to Elledge in the discussion. 

Knight then confirmed numerous Google queries from Elledge’s telephone from May possibly 2019, like queries for the subsequent:

  • Probationary period of time for a eco-friendly card
  • How to get a divorce in Missouri
  • What is an alimony
  • Missouri divorce system with self signify

A prior witness reported Ji had sought divorce information from a former boyfriend. 

Adams also examine aloud an argument related to the couple’s funds in a WeChat conversation involving Ji and Elledge. WeChat is a social media platform well known in China. 

Witness Jeff Adams from the Missouri State Specialized Aid Teams  discovered mobile phone logs, textual content messages, files and queries from both Elledge and Ji’s phones and laptops.

Ji’s phone made numerous queries linked to Missouri Medicaid coverage on Oct. 7, 2019 and Oct. 8, 2019, which was the previous day everyone stated they noticed her alive. On Oct. 8, there were being two cellular phone phone calls to a selection related to the Missouri Section of Medicaid place of work, with the 2nd call at 3 p.m.

Elledge’s cellular phone texted a birthday information to a range labeled as ‘Mom’ at 9:05 a.m. on Oct. 9, 2019, which is the exact same morning the defense suggests Elledge woke up to Ji unresponsive in their bed. The very first mention of Ji’s disappearance is Oct. 10, 2019 just just before 11 a.m. Elledge texted his mom inquiring if she had heard from Ji. All over the rest of Oct. 10, Elledge texted several people today about Ji’s disappearance.

The protection requested Adams how quite a few texts he study among the couple, to which Adams replied “virtually 16,000.” The protection then argued the text discussions ended up taken out of context and you should not display the complete mother nature of their marriage.

Adams examine as a result of pages of Elledge’s “grievance” journal from entries concerning May perhaps and September of 2019. Throughout the journal entries, Elledge phone calls Ji selfish, abusive and violent. Many entries in August and September have been about Ji speaking in Mandarin all over their toddler daughter, which Elledge claimed was selfish and abusive.

The prosecution is predicted to wrap up evidence for the condition on Tuesday. Rosenblum said he is planning to contact in witnesses on Tuesday.

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