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Brendt Christensen (Macon County Sheriff's Department)

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.

Motion claims offer was made to feds months after Christensen’s arrest

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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 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.

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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 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.

Defendant’s ex-wife says she knows he’s responsible for Yingying Zhang’s death

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The black Saturn Astra Yingying Zhang was seen entering the day she disappeared. (Courtesy FBI) Inset, top: Yingying Zhang (Courtesy University of Illinois Police Department). Bottom: Brendt Christensen (Courtesy Macon County Sheriff’s Department).

The body of Yingying Zhang has never been found, but the vehicle she was last seen entering was allegedly driven hundreds of miles in the days before and after her disappearance. More from the high-profile trial of Brendt Christensen.

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A memorial stone engraved with Yingying Zhang’s name in both English and Chinese on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in June 2019, two years after her disappearance. (Photo by Mark Van Moer) Inset, top: Yingying Zhang (Courtesy University of Illinois Police Department). Bottom: Brendt Christensen (Courtesy Macon County Sheriff’s Department).

Brendt Christensen appeared “excited” and laughed when talking about killing Yingying Zhang, his former girlfriend testified Thursday at Christensen’s death-penalty trial.

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

During testimony Wednesday, Terra Bullis described her past relationship with Brendt Christensen and how she came to wear a wire for FBI investigators who believe he is responsible for the disappearance of Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang.

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A memorial stone engraved with Yingying Zhang’s name in both English and Chinese on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in June 2019, two years after her disappearance. (Photo by Mark Van Moer) Inset, top: Yingying Zhang (Courtesy University of Illinois Police Department). Bottom: Brendt Christensen (Courtesy Macon County Sheriff’s Department).

Federal prosecutors and Brendt Christensen’s defense team are each expected to call their final witnesses before Friday. Among those slated to testify: Christensen’s former girlfriend, who wore a wire for the FBI, and his ex-wife.

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

“I want to test my limits and experience everything,” Brendt Christensen wrote in his profile on Fetlife.com, a social media site for adults with alternative sexual interests, weeks before Yingying Zhang disappeared.

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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.

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.

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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Ronggao Zhang, left, and Lifeng Ye display a photo of them with their missing daughter, Yingying Zhang, in this Nov. 1, 2017 file photo. They have now returned to Illinois as the trial of the man accused in her disappearance is set to begin June 3, 2019. (Michael Conroy File / Associated Press)

Jury selection in the capital trial of Brendt Christensen is set to begin Monday in Peoria. Christensen is charged with kidnapping resulting in the death of 26-year-old Yingying Zhang, who went missing in 2017.

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