After finding Joseph Elledge guilty of second-degree murder in the death of his wife that happened two years ago, a jury recommended a 28 year prison sentence for the Missouri man.

The recommendation by the jury was made Friday, and judge Brouck Jacobs cannot sentence him to anything greater than the recommendation. A hearing for sentencing in this case is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 17, reported ABC17 News.

While defense attorney, Scott Rosenblum for the accused asked for 10 years behind bars, Boone County prosecutor Dan Knight asked for life in prison. Evidence including statements from those affected by Mengqi Ji's death, were presented to the jury. During the penalty phase, the prosecution had five witnesses, including two detectives, a children’s counselor and two of Ji’s friends, testify.

Elledge’s mother, Jean, was called to the stand where she said that Ji's death is heartbreaking and she misses her very much, and her son's actions were out of his character. After about seven hours of deliberations that started around Thursday afternoon, Elledge was found guilty of second-degree murder by the jury.

Jurors had requested for more information on the medical examiner Dr. Keith Norton's testimony that happened Wednesday, and asked to see some pieces of evidence. On Thursday, Knight suggested the jury should convict Elledge of first-degree murder, but to get first-degree, the state would have had to prove he knowingly killed his wife after he deliberated.

The prosecutor argued deliberation could even be for a few seconds, and said that if Elledge had the thought to take his wife's life and then knowingly acted on it, deliberation was very much there. Knight mentioned how much Elledge hated Ji's mom and hated his wife for supporting her mother. He talked about the accused being a controlling husband, and said that on the night of her death, Elledge confronted her about cheating on him, which he knew about for a week prior to her death, so the prosecutor argued that was more than enough evidence to prove first-degree murder.

Elledge had said earlier that he didn't murder his wife, but had lied about her disappearance and burying her body in a park. He was telling the truth that Ji's death was an accident, said Rosenblum, and shared that he was full of emotion and pushed his wife hard, but did not do so intending to hurt Ji.

According to, Qinyi Wang, one of Ji's friends, said, "Joe lied. So frustrating. I can't believe it happened."

The Ohio Supreme Court removed Judge Pinkey S. Carr, a Cleveland municipal judge, on Tuesday from the bench. Pixabay.