Nov. 12 (UPI) — A Missouri jury on Friday recommended that a man who killed his wife two years ago, buried her body and misled authorities to serve nearly 30 years in prison.
The recommendation came early Friday morning after jurors handed down a guilty verdict for second-degree murder for Joseph Elledge on Thursday night, and then went to work on determining his punishment.
The jury ultimately recommended 28 years in prison, 85% of which must be served before he’s eligible for parole.
Elledge admitted during the trial that he killed his wife, Mengqi Ji, in late 2019. Authorities searched for the 28-year-old woman for months afterward, and her body was found in a park near Columbia just eight months ago.
The judge in the case will sentence Elledge on Dec. 17. By law, he cannot impose a sentence longer than that recommended by the jury.
COVID-19 delayed the trial proceedings, which were initially scheduled for 2020.