Jan 24, 2020 8:04 PM

Mo. prosecutors oppose missing Chinese woman's husband's change of venue

Posted Jan 24, 2020 8:04 PM
Joseph Elledge photo Boone Co.
Joseph Elledge photo Boone Co.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A prosecutor has filed a motion objecting to a request for change of venue in the child abuse trial of a Missouri man who authorities say is a suspect in the disappearance of his wife.

In a motion filed Wednesday, Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Knight said a defense attorney for Joseph Elledge did not file the request for a change of venue within a 10-day deadline set by a Missouri Supreme Court ruling, The Columbia Missourian reported.

Elledge has pleaded not guilty to charges of endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse and neglect. Authorities have said Elledge is the prime suspect the disappearance of his Chinese wife, Mengqi Ji, who he reported missing Oct. 9. He has not been charged in that case.

Elledge's lawyer, John O'Connor, acknowledged when he sought the change of venue that he didn't file the motion within 10 days of Elledge's plea on Nov. 26, 2019. However, he argued the court could grant the request, primarily because of substantial media coverage of his wife's disappearance.

Knight argued in his motion that Boone County residents are not prejudiced against Elledge, and the state doesn't have an undue influence over county residents.

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Jan 24, 2020 8:04 PM
Calif. man cashed stolen tax refund checks in Kansas

KANSAS CITY (AP) —A man was sentenced Wednesday to five years in federal prison with no parole for participating in a scheme to cash more than $447,000 in stolen tax refund checks.

Dante L. Chestnut, 31, of Ontario, California, pleaded guilty in July 2019 to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Chestnut admitted that he and others stole tax refund checks from the mail in April 2016.

They then used driver's licenses and other identification documents to cash the checks at Academy Bank branches in Kansas, Missouri, Arizona, and Colorado, prosecutors said.