Elledge murder and child abuse cases involve 40 witnesses
COLUMBIA, MO – At a status hearing for murder suspect Joseph Elledge on Friday, the state filed motions to endorse 40 witnesses for multiple charges against the defendant.
Elledge, 24, is charged with first-degree murder as well as unrelated charges for child abuse, child endangerment and third-degree domestic assault. He’s accused of killing his wife, Mengqi Ji, in October of 2019.
On Friday, the state asked that 23 witnesses in the murder case and 17 in the child abuse case be endorsed.
Ji’s body has not been found.
As previously reported by the Missourian, Columbia police recently resumed the search, continuing the excavation of a levee in the Lamine River, where investigators have said they have reason to believe Ji’s body might be found.
Boone County Chief Prosecutor Dan Knight said the trial could take up to a month, because of delays related to COVID-19 and translating witness testimony. Many of the witnesses called to testify speak Chinese.
In another layer of complication for the case, processes for selecting and impaneling jurors have become protracted because of reduced occupancy limits in courtrooms and the need for safe social distance.
No trial date has been set. A bond hearing was scheduled for Nov. 30, and Knight said at that point the court may have a better idea when the trial will begin.
Woman charged with Child Abuse after jumping gate to attack neighbor kids
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT – A woman is facing child abuse charges after police said she jumped over the neighbor’s fence and attempted to assault two juveniles Saturday evening.
According to charging documents, police were called by a juvenile to a home on Redwing Street in West Valley City around 5:45 p.m. on a child abuse report.
When police arrived, they were told by two juveniles that Jessica Bawden had thrown multiple branches from a tree at them while they were playing in their own backyard and then she ran to the front of their home and jumped over a gate in the side yard that leads to the backyard.
The victims told police that the suspect then chased them around the backyard, screaming “I’m going to kill you!” and attempted to grab one of the juvenile’s neck but missed his neck and grabbed his shirt.
The juvenile was reportedly able to break free of Bawden’s grasp, enter his home, lock the doors and call the police.
When police approached Bawden and attempted to detain her, she resisted and pulled away from the officers. Officers had to use physical force in order to take her into custody.
Officers said Bawden smelled strongly of alcohol at the time of her arrest.
Bawden is facing charges of child abuse, interfering with arresting officers, the threat of violence and intoxication.
Father Arrested in Case of Child Abuse Caught on Camera
SAN JOSE, CA – Security camera video that showed a man dropping, throwing and slinging a child outside a Riverside home led to the arrest of the boy’s father, according to police.
In the video captured July 5, a man can be seen arguing with a woman identified as the man’s girlfriend, according to police. He is seen holding the young child — police said the boy is 18 months old — and speaking to the woman before dropping him.
During the confrontation, the man appeared to swing the boy at the woman.
Police were first alerted to the video by someone who posted it to a Facebook group page. Officers searched door-to-door in the neighborhood and located the man in the Montecito Estates subdivision of the Riverwalk neighborhood in Riverside.
The child suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was treated for cuts and bruises at a hospital. He was released to his mother.
The boy’s father, identified by police as 27-year-old Techoak Lim, was arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment. NBC4 is attempting to confirm whether he has an attorney.
Police said the mother and father are separated and share custody of the child. The woman seen in the video is not the mother of the child.
Spokane Valley man faces Child Abuse charges; Child reportedly records
SPOKANE, WA – A Spokane Valley man is facing serious charges of child abuse after police say his daughter recorded him attacking her at home — an attack that was reportedly so violent, the man broke his hand from hitting her so hard.
The video came to light after Brian Loss was arrested on June 20 for 3rd degree assault-domestic violence against his 16-year-old daughter.
Court documents say Loss went to pick up his daughter in Spokane County to give her a ride. She told police she jumped on the hood of his vehicle to avoid being left behind and he reportedly drove off with her on the hood, swerving in an attempt to knock her off. The child did eventually fall off the hood, according to police.
Loss appeared in court at the end of June and was then released on his own recognizance, but a domestic violence no contact order was issued.
During the investigation, police say they obtained a video of a December 5, 2017, assault by Loss at his residence. It was during that assault that police say Loss broke his hand during the beating. He and his daughter later went to an urgent care to have a cast put on it.
Documents also say that Loss violated the domestic violence no contact order on July 1. He was arrested and appeared in court on Tuesday.
Loss is charged with third degree assault and witness tampering, third degree child rape, third degree child molestation and harassment.
Woman arrested for Child Abuse after
toddlers found in bug infested trailer
without any food
WASHINGTON COUNTY, UT – A woman has been booked into jail on a charge of child abuse after police say her children were found filthy and underfed in a trailer infested with cockroaches and other bugs.
According to a statement of probable cause, Virginia M. Martinez has been booked on one count of child abuse as a third-degree felony.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office says they responded to Martinez’s home on the Shivwits Reservation April 7 due to a verbal argument between Martinez and a male subject.
Responding officers say Martinez was intoxicated, agitated and hard to reason with and that the inside of the trailer was “destroyed”. Police say there were holes in the walls, floors and ceiling. They said one bathroom had an inoperable toilet inside a shower, while in another bathroom the toilet worked but the shower was inoperable with holes in the floor.
Police say Martinez’s two children were filthy and a 3-year-old boy covered in mud was eating noodles off a counter that were so old they had dried out and changed color. A 2-year-old girl was also found to be very dirty, and both children had bug bites on their bodies. Police say the trailer was infested with cockroaches and other bugs.
Martinez did not have food in the home, documents state, and police say it appears she had no transportation or means to get food. Police say a family member came to the home while officers were there and told them the woman is an addict but doesn’t want to go to rehab to get clean.
Police say they observed the 2-year-old girl playing near a broken porch and asked Martinez to keep an eye on the girl, but the woman told police the girl had fallen before and learned her lesson and would not fall again. The child then fell off the porch and was checked out by medical personnel.
Martinez was arrested for child abuse and for failing to provide safety, proper care or food for her children. Police state the Division of Child and Family Services were to take custody of both children.