Court needs only 12 more jurors to qualify for Brendt Christensen’s trial


Samantha Boyle

The Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse sits at 100 Northeast St. in Peoria. The trial for Brendt Christensen, alleged kidnapper and murderer of Yingying Zhang, began here June 3 with the jury selection process. The defense and prosecutors made their closing statements Monday.

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

Fifteen potential jurors came into court for questioning Thursday morning and 16 were questioned that same afternoon for the trial of Brendt Christensen, alleged kidnapper and killer of visiting scholar Yingying Zhang.  

The fourth day of jury questioning ended with a total of 58 qualified jurors. Six qualified from the morning group and seven from the afternoon group. The goal is to qualify 70 jurors so both parties of the trial can pick the seated jury, 12 jurors and six alternates.

The hope is the 70 jurors will qualify by Friday and a complete jury will be seated by Monday, followed by a break on Tuesday and opening statements to begin on Wednesday.

A livestream of the trial will continue to stream from Peoria at the Urbana courthouse at 201 S. Vine St.

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