The Daily Illini

Jury begins deliberations in deciding Christensen’s fate

Jury begins deliberations in deciding Christensen’s fate

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

July 17, 2019

The closing statements in the case to find justice for Yingying Zhang were finished around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. It’s been 767 days since her disappearance. On Wednesday afternoon, the jury left the courtroom to begin deliberations on what the appropriate sentence should be for Zhang’s convicted...

Testimonies on behalf of Christensen continue, defense case to rest Tuesday

Testimonies on behalf of Christensen continue, defense case to rest Tuesday

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

July 15, 2019

Kind, gentle, polite and well-behaved. These are all words used to describe Brendt Christensen, the accused kidnapper and killer of University visiting scholar Yingying Zhang, in court on Monday. Taking the stand for the defense on Monday were correctional officers from the Livingston County Jail, wher...

Day 4 of penalty phase sees defense continues to humanize Christensen

Day 4 of penalty phase sees defense continues to humanize Christensen

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

July 11, 2019

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...

Christensen’s academic background revealed in testimony

Christensen’s academic background revealed in testimony

By Hannah Preston, Interim editor-in-chief

July 11, 2019

After he was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering University of Illinois scholar Yingying Zhang, the penalty phase in Brendt Christensen’s trial continued Wednesday. Testimonies included Christensen’s teachers and professors, recounting his attitude in school throughout his life ranging from...

Penalty phase continues with Christensen’s friend, family testimony

Penalty phase continues with Christensen’s friend, family testimony

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

July 10, 2019

After hearing from the family and boyfriend of Yingying Zhang speaking about the impact of Zhang’s loss the past couple of days, the jury heard a different side of the story on Wednesday. Michael Christensen, the father of Brendt who is the convicted kidnapper and killer of Zhang and was found guilty...

Yingying Zhang’s family testifies during second day of penalty phase

Yingying Zhang’s family testifies during second day of penalty phase

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

July 10, 2019

The second day of the penalty phase, which will decide if Brendt Christensen will serve a life prison sentence or face the death penalty, continued on Tuesday with testimonies from Yingying Zhang’s family. As Christensen was found guilty toward the end of June of kidnapping resulting in death, the...

Life or death: First witnesses called to stand for beginning of penalty phase

Life or death: First witnesses called to stand for beginning of penalty phase

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

July 8, 2019

After a guilty verdict was reached about two weeks ago, members of the jury must now decide the punishment of Brendt Christensen for kidnapping and killing visiting scholar Yingying Zhang. For the jury to decide if it will sentence Christensen to life in prison or death depends on the government’s...

Zhang family addresses public following verdict

Zhang family addresses public following verdict

By Samantha Boyle, News editor

June 24, 2019

Zhidong Wang, the Zhang family's attorney, addresses the public after the jury decided Brendt Christensen was guilty on the charges of kidnapping resulting in death of Yingying Zhang, along with two other charges of false statements. Ronggao Zhang, Yingying's father, addressed the public in a stateme...

Guilty: Christensen faces possibility of death penalty, trial to resume July 8

Guilty: Christensen faces possibility of death penalty, trial to resume July 8

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

June 24, 2019

Brendt Christensen officially faces the death penalty as a jury found him guilty Monday afternoon after hearing witness testimonies and viewing evidence over the past eight days. It took less than two hours for the jury to decide Christensen is guilty of kidnapping resulting in death and two counts...

Deliberations begin for verdict in Christensen trial

Deliberations begin for verdict in Christensen trial

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

June 24, 2019

Defense attorneys and prosecutors made their closing arguments in U.S. v. Christensen Monday morning. Brendt Christensen, once a doctoral student at the University, is accused of kidnapping and killing visiting scholar Yingying Zhang, as well as making two false statements to the FBI just weeks after the...

Man stabbed on Green Street following presumed altercation

Man stabbed on Green Street following presumed altercation

By Hannah Preston, Staff writer

June 23, 2019

A 66-year-old man was taken into custody after allegedly stabbing another 42-year-old man on Friday afternoon. The victim's injuries were deemed non-life-threatening. The stabbing took place in Campustown on the 600 block of East Green Street at 3:21 p.m. The suspect has been arrested and taken into...

Cases rest after Christensen’s ex-wife, ex-girlfriend testify

Cases rest after Christensen’s ex-wife, ex-girlfriend testify

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

June 21, 2019

After numerous witnesses took the stand over the last week and a half, closing statements in Brendt Christensen’s trial are set to begin on Monday. Although the defense has not denied Christensen’s responsibility in the death of visiting scholar Yingying Zhang’s death, he is still pleading not...

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