Christensen trial moved to Feb. 27


Photo courtesy of University of Illinois Police Department

Photo of Brendt Christensen, alleged kidnapper and killer of visiting Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang. Recent court documents revealed Christensen visited the University Counseling Center three months before Zhang’s disappearance.

Originally set for Sept. 12, Brendt Christensen’s trial has been rescheduled another five months from now, on Feb. 27. Christensen has appeared in court four times since being charged with kidnapping.

The federal kidnapping trial was delayed at a pretrial hearing at the federal courthouse following Christensen’s attorney’s request for a continuance by U.S. District Court Judge Colin Bruce.

There were no objections to the delay this afternoon in court. Christensen’s attorneys filed the request on Wednesday, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office joined the motion.

The case may return to a grand jury, said Bryan Freres, U.S. Attorney’s Office representative. There is the possibility that a superceding indictment with additional charges could be filed before the trial.  

Christensen, former graduate physics student at the University, is charged with kidnapping Yingying Zhang. The visiting Chinese scholar was last seen on campus 80 days ago, on June 9.

    Sign up for our newsletter!

    The FBI presumes that Zhang is dead, and the case remains a national top priority to the FBI.

    [email protected]