The Daily Illini

Yingying’s Fund officially established to help international students, families

Yingying’s Fund officially established to help international students, families

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

August 19, 2019

Yingying Zhang was smart, beautiful and kind. She was also always willing to help when she saw others were in need. That is what her family said about her Monday at the official establishment of Yingying’s Fund. It has been two years since Yingying went missing, and now to honor her memory, a permanent...

Recovery of Yingying Zhang’s remains ‘has no certainty of success’

Recovery of Yingying Zhang’s remains ‘has no certainty of success’

By Hannah Preston, Interim editor-in-chief

August 7, 2019

Yingying Zhang's family and their attorneys gathered Wednesday morning for a press conference at Beckett Law Office in Urbana to discuss what they learned about the conditions of their daughter's death following discussions between prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office and Brendt Christensen's...

Yingying Zhang’s family given lead to where her remains lie

Yingying Zhang’s family given lead to where her remains lie

By Hannah Preston, Interim editor-in-chief

August 2, 2019

On Friday, Yingying Zhang’s family announced they have been told her remains may lie in a landfill in Vermilion County. They were given this lead on July 25 when they met with prosecutors following Brendt Christensen’s sentence to life in prison for Zhang’s kidnapping and murder. Vermilion County...

Memorial service for Yingying Zhang to be held Monday

Memorial service for Yingying Zhang to be held Monday

By Hannah Preston, Interim editor-in-chief

July 31, 2019

A memorial service honoring the life of Yingying Zhang will be held Monday at First Baptist Church in Savoy at 1 p.m. Zhang’s family helped to plan to the service and will be in attendance. Both English and Chinese translations will be available, and the service will also include a Chinese choir....

Illinois families accused of using loophole to qualify for need-based financial aid

Illinois families accused of using loophole to qualify for need-based financial aid

By Pari Apostolakos, Managing Editor for Reporting

July 31, 2019

Families from the Chicagoland area have been taking advantage of a loophole to receive need-based scholarships and financial aid, ProPublica Illinois and The Wall Street Journal each reported Monday. Andrew Borst, director of undergraduate admissions, said the University began investigating this case...

Death in Champaign currently under investigation

Death in Champaign currently under investigation

By Hannah Preston, Interim editor-in-chief

July 29, 2019

An unresponsive male was discovered near an apartment complex in the 300 block of South State Street — two blocks from Campustown — on Monday morning, and Champaign police were dispatched to the area. Paramedics confirmed the male was deceased soon after arrival. Police are attempting to find...

Juror recounts day in the life of a juror in a capital punishment case

Juror recounts day in the life of a juror in a capital punishment case

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

July 27, 2019

It has now been just over a week since the jury could not unanimously decide what the punishment of the kidnapper and killer of visiting scholar Yingying Zhang’s should be. It’s a life or death decision not many people think about having to make in their lifetime. However, for 12 people this decision...

Champaign police respond to scene of shooting

Champaign police respond to scene of shooting

By Hannah Preston, Interim editor-in-chief

July 22, 2019

On Monday evening, Champaign police investigated the 1000 block of North James Street at approximately 5:02 p.m. A 35-year-old man who suffered a life-threatening gunshot in the abdomen was found at the scene and transported to a hospital to receive treatment. His condition is unknown. The police...

Yingying Zhang’s family gives statements after her killer is sentenced to life in prison

Yingying Zhang’s family gives statements after her killer is sentenced to life in prison

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

July 18, 2019

At around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, the jury asked the court what would happen if a unanimous decision can’t be reached. At around 2:35 p.m., the court was informed a verdict had been reached. After just over eight hours of deliberation, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision in what the sentencing...

Verdict reached in Christensen trial

Verdict reached in Christensen trial

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

July 18, 2019

After about eight hours of deliberation, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision on whether Brendt Christensen should be sentenced to death or life in prison. Therefore, the court will be imposing a life prison sentence. Around 2:35 p.m. today Judge James Shadid read the verdict from the...

Jury presents two additional questions as deliberations continue in Christensen trial

Jury presents two additional questions as deliberations continue in Christensen trial

By Samantha Boyle, News editor

July 18, 2019

As the jury continues deliberations, two questions have already come up. The jury started deliberating Thursday morning at 9 a.m. and sent the first question around 9:45 a.m. asking about what the information about the number of jurors who agree each mitigating factor will be used for. Judge James...

Jury has questions for court during deliberations for Christensen’s sentence

Jury has questions for court during deliberations for Christensen’s sentence

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

July 17, 2019

Since the jury started deliberations in Brendt Christensen’s sentencing, court reconvened to answer a few questions asked by the jury. The question was written down by the jury and brought out by a law clerk for both parties and the judge to look at and answer. Around 3 p.m. Wednesday, the jury’s...

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