Defense Attorney: Chinese Woman’s Death a ‘Tragic Accident’

4 weeks ago 23

COLUMBIA, Mo.—The lawyer for a Missouri antheral accused of sidesplitting his Chinese woman successful 2019 said Tuesday that the woman’s decease was a “tragic accident” that was caused erstwhile she fell and deed her caput during an statement with her husband.

During opening statements successful Joseph Elledge’s first-degree execution trial, defence lawyer Scott Rosenblum said Elledge and his 28-year-old wife, Mengqi Ji, were arguing connected Oct. 9, 2019, astatine their location successful Columbia due to the fact that helium believed she was having an affair.

He said Ji pushed Elledge archetypal and helium past shoved her, causing her to autumn and deed her head. Ji was capable to get up and spell to bed, wherever Elledge recovered her dormant aboriginal the adjacent day. Rosenblum attributed her decease to a subdural hematoma, which is simply a physique up of humor connected the brain, KOMU reported.

Rosenblum acknowledged that Elledge made a bid of atrocious decisions erstwhile helium decided not to telephone for help, alternatively putting his wife’s assemblage successful the trunk of his car. But helium said the grounds volition amusement Elledge did not mean to termination his wife.

Elledge plans to attest successful his ain defence during the trial, Rosenblum said.

Epoch Times Photo Joseph Elledge walks into the Boone County Courtroom with 1 of his attorneys Matei Stroescu connected the archetypal time of grounds of his proceedings successful Boone County, Mo, connected Nov. 2, 2021. (Don Shrubshell/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP, Pool)

Elledge reported Ji missing connected Oct. 10, 2019, prompting galore searches earlier her remains were recovered March 25 this twelvemonth successful a distant country of Rock Bridge State Park astir 5 miles (8 kilometers) southbound of Columbia.

Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight said successful his opening connection that Elledge mistreated his woman passim their matrimony and connected the nighttime she died. He said Elledge and his parent worked unneurotic to guarantee that Ji did what Elledge wanted, KRCG-TV reported.

Knight told the assemblage they would perceive much than 9 hours of recordings of the mates arguing, immoderate that were made by Elledge and others by Ji.

The archetypal signaling was played Tuesday afternoon. The astir hour-long signaling of a telephone speech included Elledge chastising Ji for eating “like a pig” and repeatedly swearing astatine her and criticizing her mother. Ji is heard sobbing.

Elledge besides asked: “Do you privation maine to leave? I’ll permission and ne'er travel back. I’m not blessed here. Do you privation maine permission here? Tell me.”

Ji responded, “No.”

In his opening statement, Knight said Elledge recorded reasons wherefore helium hated his woman successful a diary titled “Grievances.” And helium said Elledge had a notebook that outlined however helium should behave toward the media concerning his wife’s disappearance.

The authoritative besides said Elledge spent 30 minutes digging a sedate successful Rock Bridge State Park, wherever Ji’s assemblage was found. The sedate was a fractional a mile from wherever helium had projected to her, Knight said.

Ji came to the U.S. from China and earned a master’s grade successful mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of Missouri successful December 2014. She antecedently attended the East China University of Science and Technology successful Shanghai.

She stayed successful Columbia and joined Elledge, who was a pupil astatine the University of Missouri, successful 2017.

The Associated Press

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