Day 4 of penalty phase sees defense continues to humanize Christensen


Members of Brendt Christensen’s defense team, Elisabeth Pollock (left) and Julie Brain (right) walk out of the courtroom on Monday. In order to avoid the death penalty for Christensen, the defense has been working on humanizing him for the jury, bringing up his struggles with mental health and how he was growing up.

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

Testimonies from friends and family of convicted killer and kidnapper Brendt Christensen were followed up on Thursday with witnesses who knew Christensen from his time at the University.

Witnesses who testified include professors and other faculty members from the physics department.

Some witnesses also mentioned Christensen became disengaged and distracted before he kidnapped Zhang in June 2017.

Additionally, as mentioned in opening statements and throughout other parts of the trial, Christensen had failed every one of his classes in the Fall 2016 semester. After this incident he dropped his doctoral program and decided to finish a master’s program instead.

The defense team is continuing to bring in witnesses who attempt to show the jury Christensen was a promising student and a good kid growing up. Doing so may humanize Christensen enough so the jury will not sentence him to death. If not death, Christensen will serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

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    Other members of Christensen’s family are still expected to testify, including Christensen’s ex-wife, sister and mother.

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