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Brendt Christensen (Macon County Sheriff's Department)

Illinois banned capital punishment in 2011, but a state resident now faces a possible death sentence in a first-of-its-kind murder trial since that ban took effect. A Northwestern law professor explains how that’s possible.

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Yingying Zhang disappeared on June 9, 2017. (University of Illinois Police Department). Inset: Brendt Christensen (Macon County Sheriff’s Department)

Reporters are allowed into the courtroom where Brendt Christensen is on trial, but electronic devices are not. Read the court transcript of Wednesday’s stunning opening arguments.

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Journalist Jim DeRogatis appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Wednesday, June 12, 2019.

Intimate details about R. Kelly are uncovered in a new book. Jim DeRogatis, the reporter who’s been following the singer for years, discusses “Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly.”

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Clarisa Figueroa, left, and Desiree Figueroa (Chicago Police Department)

A Chicago woman and her adult daughter were formally charged Wednesday in the killing of a pregnant teenager whose baby was cut from her womb with a butcher knife.

Christensen’s attorneys admit he is responsible for death of Chinese scholar

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Yingying Zhang disappeared on June 9, 2017. (University of Illinois Police Department). Inset: Brendt Christensen (Macon County Sheriff’s Department)

“Brendt Christensen is responsible for the death of Yingying Zhang,” federal defender George Taseff told a packed court Wednesday inside the Peoria federal courthouse. Despite the admission, Christensen is not changing his not guilty plea. 

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Yingying Zhang disappeared on June 9, 2017. (University of Illinois Police Department). Inset: Brendt Christensen (Macon County Sheriff’s Department)

The federal lawsuit claims university social workers should have done more to address the “homicidal ideations” of Brendt Christensen, who is charged in the kidnapping and death of Yingying Zhang.

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Yingying Zhang disappeared on June 9, 2017. (University of Illinois Police Department). Inset: Brendt Christensen (Macon County Sheriff’s Department)

Attorneys for the man charged with the kidnapping and death of a Chinese scholar at the University of Illinois are demanding access to mental health treatment records from his girlfriend, who wore a wire for federal investigators.

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A memorial stone engraved with Yingying Zhang’s name in both English and Chinese is adorned with flowers on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Friday, June 7, 2019. Zhang was last seen alive at a nearby bus stop on Friday, June 9, 2017. Inset: Yingying Zhang. (Memorial photo by Mark Van Moer. Zhang photo courtesy University of Illinois Police Department)

Sunday marks the two-year anniversary of Yingying Zhang’s disappearance. Her kidnapping has left a mark on the University of Illinois campus as the trial of the man accused of her killing gets underway.

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Musician R. Kelly, center, arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court building for an arraignment on new sex-related felonies Thursday, June 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

The R&B superstar pleaded not guilty to several new criminal charges relating to a 16-year-old victim he allegedly sexually abused between 2009 and 2010.

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“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, center, arrives at Leighton Criminal Court Building for a hearing to discuss whether cameras will be allowed in the courtroom during his disorderly conduct case on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Matt Marton)

The city of Chicago has released two 911 calls made after “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett claimed he was the victim of a racist, homophobic attack.

Former Ph.D. student accused in kidnapping, death of missing Illinois scholar

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Yingying Zhang disappeared on June 9, 2017. (University of Illinois Police Department). Inset: Brendt Christensen (Macon County Sheriff’s Department)

One prospective juror in the high-profile case said she’d have difficulty sentencing someone to death because “God doesn’t want us to take revenge.”

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This Feb. 22, 2019 file photo shows Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx speaking at a news conference in Chicago. (AP Photo / Kiichiro Sato, File)

As she releases 2,000 pages of documents related to the high-profile case, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx claims she recused herself because of a false rumor that she was related to the “Empire” actor.

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In this May 7, 2019 file photo, Musician R. Kelly, center, arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court building for a hearing in Chicago. (AP Photo / Matt Marton, File)

Jerhonda Pace has come forward to say publicly that 11 new sex-related felony counts against R. Kelly stem from allegations she made about the R&B singer.

Ruling date scheduled for June 21

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Jussie Smollett appears at a hearing for judge assignment with his attorney Tina Glandian, left, at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Thursday, March 14, 2019. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Pool / Chicago Tribune)

A Cook County judge will decide next month whether a special prosecutor is needed to review the handling of the Jussie Smollett case by the state’s attorney’s office.

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(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hailey R. Staker)

Prosecutors say Mohammed Shariff, who illegally dispensed hundreds of thousands of opioid pills, “showed an abject disregard of patients and perverted his companies into engines of unlawful profit.”

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R. Kelly appears at a hearing Tuesday, May 7, 2019 before Judge Lawrence Flood at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

The R&B superstar is facing 11 new charges, three months after he was initially hit with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for allegedly assaulting multiple women between the late 1990s and early 2000s.

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