Opening Statements Begin In Trial of Man Charged With Murder Of Chinese U of I Scholar

Opening Statements Begin In Trial of Man Charged With Murder Of Chinese U of I Scholar

Opening statements in the federal trial of a man accused of killing a Chinese scholar at the University of Illinois began today in Peoria.

Moments into the defense’s arguments, a federal prosecutor representing Brendt Christensen shocked the courtroom when he admitted that his client did in fact kill Yingying Zhang.

Christensen is charged with abducting, torturing and murdering Zhang in 2017 after allegedly luring her into his car. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

WBEZ’s Melba Lara talked with Tanya Koonce of WILL Public Radio.