Joseph Elledge from Missouri will spend 28 behind bars for murdering his wife Mengqi Ji and burying her body in 2019.

The prison sentence was set by judge J. Hasbrouck Jacobs at the Boone County Courthouse Friday, and he denied defense attorney Scott Rosenblum's motion for a new trial, according to Columbia Daily Tribune.

Last November, a jury convicted him on a second-degree murder charge in connection with the killing of his wife, who moved from China to the US to study engineering, reported New York Daily News. At the time, Elledge admitted that he misled authorities about his wife's disappearance after burying her dead body.

Last month, his lawyers filed for a new trial and argued that Boone County prosecutor Dan Knight wasn’t able to prove that a crime actually took place.

Last November, a 12-member jury recommended the 28-year prison sentence after which Knight surmised this was because the length matched Ji's age when she passed away. On Friday, Knight collected witness testimony from the superintendent of the Boone County Jail and a friend of Ji who gave a victim impact statement. Knight argued that Elledge had shown no remorse for what he did and said that his behavior toward his wife was "misogynist, racist."

He also called Elledge a "bully and liar" for coming up with the idea that her death was accidental even before her dead body was discovered. Knight said that before her body was found, Elledge's narrative was that she had gone back to China, abandoned her daughter to continue an affair with a man whom she met on a digital platform. Commenting on Elledge's actions, Knight said that he "wanted to destroy any legacy Ji" had with her child.

But Rosenblum said that Knight's aim was to get a first-degree murder conviction by using a distortion of facts and hyperbole. Rosenblum noted the jury rejected the notion that Elledge's actions were premeditated and deliberate, and the evidence did not "prove the prosecution's case."

Amy Salladay, who is Ji's family lawyer, wrote in a statement that the family is grateful to Jacobs for upholding the sentence recommended by the jury last year. Salladay wrote that it's "not enough when you consider the nightmare of waking up every day and realizing you can't talk to or see your daughter, but it is justice in terms of what the American court system provides, and for that they are thankful."

According to Columbia Missourian, Jacobs also ordered Ji’s body to be released and handed over to her parents who live in China. Elledge, who had married Ji on Sept. 17, 2017, had said that he had carried her dead body from their house, placed her in the trunk of her car and then searched for a location to bury it. He finally chose Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, which is south of Columbia, to bury her body.

Courtroom Representational image. Pixabay.