A 12-person jury could decide as soon as Wednesday whether the former Ph.D. candidate will live out the rest of his natural life behind bars or if he’ll be put to death for the kidnapping and killing of Yingying Zhang.
The embattled R&B superstar, who has been the subject of sexual assault accusations for decades, won’t be allowed to walk free while facing his latest legal battle.
More than a month after they first began hearing testimony, jurors in the trial of Brendt Christensen are likely to begin deliberating this week over his appropriate sentence: life in prison or death.
A federal court hearing for R&B singer R. Kelly has been pushed back a day and will instead be held Tuesday when the singer was expected to be arraigned.
Singer R. Kelly, already facing sexual abuse charges brought by Illinois prosecutors, was arrested in Chicago on a federal grand jury indictment listing 13 counts including sex crimes and obstruction of justice.
Defense attorneys called a juror’s actions this week “unprecedented” and sought a mistrial on Wednesday. That request was denied, but the walkout marks one more oddity in the high-profile case.
As he looked down at a photo of his daughter, Ronggao Zhang could not contain himself. He turned away, inhaled sharply and began crying on the witness stand. Then the man convicted of killing Yingying Zhang did the same.
Until this week, jurors knew little about Yingying Zhang, other than how she died. Federal prosecutors on Monday sought to paint a better picture of the visiting Chinese scholar through the words of her friends and loved ones.
As in any criminal case, after a defendant is found guilty, the court moves on to sentencing. But things operate differently when the defendant faces a possible death sentence.
Federal defenders are seeking a four-week delay to review and translate videos of Yingying Zhang and her family if that evidence is allowed at sentencing.
The lawsuit says the abuse occurred in 1998. Kelly’s attorneys say she had until 2002 to sue. But state law can extend deadlines to file in cases where the accuser becomes aware of the abuse later.
Lawmakers who drafted the measure making Illinois the 11th state to legalize marijuana emphasized repairing what they say is the damage done by a half-century of the war on drugs.
Motion claims offer was made to feds months after Christensen’s arrest
Attorneys for Brendt Christensen say he offered to cooperate with investigators and disclose what he did with the Chinese scholar’s remains in return for a life sentence just six months after his 2017 arrest.
Prosecutors have turned over to R. Kelly’s attorneys a tape they say shows the singer having sex with a minor girl two decades ago.
Chicago police on Monday released hundreds of files from the investigation into Jussie Smollett’s claim he was attacked by two men, including releasing video footage for the first time of the “Empire” actor wearing a thin white rope wrapped around his neck.
Brendt Christensen has been found guilty in the kidnapping and death of Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang, setting the stage for what could be the first death sentence handed down within Illinois since the state abolished capital punishment in 2011.