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IL YINGYING ZHANG: Missing from Urbana/Champaign, IL - 9 June 2017 - Age 27 *Christensen GUILTY*

Discussion in 'Missing 2015 to Present' started by TripleA, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. kdg411

    kdg411 Resource Mod

    Justice for Yingying: jury selection extended

    After five days of vetting potential jurors, the court had expected to have at least a 70-person jury pool ready for the final selection round, which was scheduled for Monday afternoon. But as of 5:00 p.m. on Friday, only 69 people had been qualified for the pool.


    According to court records, jury selection will resume Monday at 9:00 a.m., pushing the final selection round to Tuesday.

    Opening statements are still expected to begin Wednesday morning.
  2. kdg411

    kdg411 Resource Mod

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  3. ima.grandma

    ima.grandma Believer of Miracles

    After slaying UIC student Yingying Zhang, killer bought trash bags and Drano: testimony
    Brendt Christensen purchased the items days after allegedly killing Yingying Zhang, Day 2 testimony revealed.
    A former University of Illinois doctoral student on trial in the killing of a visiting scholar from China bought Drano and garbage bags three days after the slaying, according to testimony Thursday.

    The detail came during the second day of the federal murder trial of Brendt Christensen in the June 2017 death of 26-year-old Yingying Zhang.

    During opening statements Wednesday, a federal prosecutor, Eugene Miller, told jurors in grisly detail what authorities believe happened to Zhang. Miller said Christensen took Zhang to his apartment and raped, choked and stabbed her in his bedroom. Miller said Christensen then dragged Zhang into his bathroom and pummeled her in the head with a baseball bat before decapitating her.

    It wasn’t immediately clear what Christensen is alleged to have done with the garbage bags — or the Drano. The liquid commonly used for unclogging sinks, tubs and other drains contains sodium hydroxide or lye, which can be used for dissolving organic matter.

    The (Champaign) News-Gazette reported that an FBI agent testified about the massive search in Illinois for Zhang that extended from local parks to a coal mine 30 miles (48 kilometers) away but didn’t produce any evidence of what happened to her. She’s never been found and is presumed dead.
    Authorities say Christensen posed as an undercover officer to lure Zhang into his car on June 9, 2017, as she was on her way to sign a lease off campus in Urbana, 140 miles southwest of Chicago.

    Christensen was arrested on June 30, 2017, his birthday, after his girlfriend wore a wire for the FBI in an attempt to capture incriminating statements by Christensen.

    It’s the first federal death-penalty case in Illinois since the state struck capital punishment from its books on grounds death-penalty processes were too error-prone.

    The trial was moved to Peoria in central Illinois after Christensen’s lawyers said pretrial publicity would have made it impossible for the 29-year-old former physics student to get a fair trial in the Champaign area, where the 45,000-student university is located.

    Thursday’s testimony came a day after defense attorneys, hoping to spare Christensen the death penalty, acknowledged he killed Zhang.
    kdg411, spike and Paradise like this.
  4. ima.grandma

    ima.grandma Believer of Miracles

    Christensen was arrested on June 30, 2017, his birthday, after his girlfriend wore a wire for the FBI in a bid to capture incriminating statements by Christensen. The girlfriend is expected to be the government’s star witness.

    Because Zhang’s body was never found, the first government witnesses were called to help establish that she is, in fact, dead. Zhang’s boyfriend, Xiaolin Hou, said he and Zhang planned to wed in October 2017. They talked almost every day even though he was in China, but the calls stopped after she went missing.

    During his opening, Miller said Christensen’s own words proved Zhang is dead. In a secret recording by the girlfriend, caught as Christensen attended a June 29 campus vigil for Zhang, he told his girlfriend the people were “there for me.” Miller said.

    Christensen added: “She’s never going to be found. ... She’s gone forever.”
    kdg411 and Paradise like this.
  5. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    In opening statement, attorney admits Brendt Christensen abducted, killed Chinese scholar at University of Illinois

    Before a word of testimony was heard, any questions about Brendt Christensen’s guilt in the abduction and murder of a Chinese scholar at the University of Illinois were answered.

    “Brendt Christensen is responsible for the death of Yingying Zhang,” defense attorney George Taseff said Wednesday in his opening statement to jurors in a Peoria federal courtroom. “Brendt Christensen killed Yingying Zhang, and nothing we say or do during this phase of the trial is intended to sidestep or deny that Brendt Christensen was responsible for the death of Yingying Zhang.”

    Christensen, 29, faces the death penalty if he’s convicted of abducting and murdering Zhang, a visiting researcher at the university’s Urbana-Champaign campus. Taseff told the jury that Christensen “is on trial for his life in this case,” indicating his efforts will focus on sentencing.

    If Christensen is found guilty in Zhang’s 2017 disappearance, a second phase will begin and the same jury will be asked to decide on the death penalty. Capital punishment was abolished in Illinois state courts in 2011 but remains an option in federal court.

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  6. Eridralie

    Eridralie Peace

    kdg411, spike, Paradise and 1 other person like this.
  7. spike

    spike Bronze Member

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  8. kdg411

    kdg411 Resource Mod


    Former student guilty in slaying of visiting Chinese scholar

    Jurors deliberated less than 90 minutes before returning a guilty verdict Monday at the federal death-penalty trial of a former University of Illinois doctoral student who killed a visiting scholar from China after abducting her at a bus stop as she headed to sign an off-campus apartment lease.

    The swift conviction was expected because Brendt Christensen's attorneys acknowledged from the start that he raped and stabbed Yingying Zhang in June 2017. Prosecutors say he beat her to death with a baseball bat and decapitated her.

    The judge has said there will be a break of a week or more before the penalty phase, a sort of mini-trial that could last several weeks. Illinois no longer has capital punishment, but he could be sentenced to death because he was convicted in federal court.
  9. spike

    spike Bronze Member

  10. Summer_breeze

    Summer_breeze Blowing through the Jasmine in my mind

    The Latest: Zhang family says no promise body would be found


    CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the offer by a former U of I student to locate body in exchange for a life sentence (all times local):

    3:25 p.m.

    The family of a scholar from China killed by a former University of Illinois doctoral student says they’re aware he offered to divulge where her remains were but weren’t convinced the body would actually be found.

    A Wednesday statement from Yingying Zhang’s relatives says they were “leery” of Brendt Christensen’s offer “because he had lied so many times in the past.”

    The defense said in a Tuesday filing that Christensen made the offer, asking for a life sentence in exchange.

    Jurors convicted Christensen Monday in a federal death-penalty trial of kidnapping Zhang in 2017 and beating her to death.

    Tuesday’s defense filing asks the judge to bar statements at an upcoming death-penalty phase that suggest Christensen refused to locate Zhang’s remains.

    Zhang’s relatives said they “respect the decisions that have been made” by prosecutors.
  11. Summer_breeze

    Summer_breeze Blowing through the Jasmine in my mind

    Prosecutor filing suggests scholar’s remains not recoverable

    7/1/19 8:21 PM

    CHICAGO — Prosecutors who secured a guilty verdict this week against a former University of Illinois doctoral student for killing a visiting scholar from China have suggested it won’t ever be possible to recover her remains.

    They made that assertion in a filing unsealed Friday. It’s a response to Brendt Christensen’s lawyers, who said he offered after his 2017 arrest to plead guilty and divulge where Yingying Zhang’s remains were for a life sentence.

    Jurors convicted Christensen on Monday. The defense wants to mention Christensen’s offer to jurors as they begin considering in July whether Christensen should be sentenced to death.

    Prosecutors considered the offer, broaching it with Zhang’s family. But they say the deal was contingent on “locating and recovering” all of Zhang’s “identifiable bodily remains.” They say the plea talks collapsed when it became clear that wouldn’t be possible.
  12. kdg411

    kdg411 Resource Mod

    Jurors Likely to Begin Deliberating Brendt Christensen Sentence This Week

    Christensen’s defense team called its final witnesses Monday afternoon, the sixth day of sentencing following his conviction last month in the 2017 kidnapping and death of 26-year-old Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang. After federal prosecutors call their rebuttal witnesses, the case will be turned over to the jury inside Peoria’s federal court building. Closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday.

    Because Christensen is charged in federal court and faces a possible death sentence, a jury, rather than a judge, will determine his fate. Those same jurors spent two hours in deliberations before finding him guilty of kidnapping resulting in death and two counts of making false statements to the FBI.


    If he is executed, Christensen would become the first Illinois resident to receive the death penalty since the state abolished such punishment in 2011. Currently, more than 60 people sit on federal death row, but the federal government has not carried out an execution since 2003.
  13. Angela

    Angela Member

    I started the thread on the first page and thought I hope they would find her but at the moment the body has not been found but the person who murdered her has been found
    How she was killed or what he said he done to her is disgusting
    I feel we need to be careful on getting into cars on who we do not know
    I know many take Ubers and other car share service s and not saying not too but you do hear so much on people getting raped or worse and yes they do criminal checks but at times you might get a random person doing something
    I think also telling your freinds and family where you are going is a good idea or maybe driving your mate to a destination if you can least you know there ok
    These days can be dangerous
    I also wonder why she didn't go through a restate as at least that is more safe
    Kimster, noZme, kdg411 and 1 other person like this.
  14. Paradise

    Paradise Media Mod

    some excellent points
    noZme and kdg411 like this.
  15. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    A father's plea to a killer: Tell us where our daughter's remains are

    At a courthouse thousands of miles from his home in China, a father pleaded with a killer to tell him where his daughter's body was last placed.

    Brendt Christensen, 30, was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for the kidnapping and killing two years ago of 26-year-old Yingying Zhang, a student at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign's department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences.

    Her remains were never found.

    "Now that the trial is over, and the jury has made its decision, we ask the defendant to unconditionally tell us what he knows about Yingying's location," her father, Ronggao Zhang, said in Chinese, according to a translator. "If you have any humanity left in your soul, please help end our torment. Please let us bring Yingying home."

    The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on the death penalty, so a judge imposed the life sentence.

    Her family attended the trial and the penalty phase.

    "While we do not agree with the result, ... we accept that he will spend the rest of his life in prison, which still reflects our loss in a meaningful way," her father said. "We hope that every day he spends in prison he feels the pain and suffering that we feel for the loss of Yingying."

    Milhiser said the search for her remains continues.

    "We have missed Yingying tremendously in the past two years," Zhang's family said at his conviction. "Our wish has always been to find Yingying and bring her home, we'll not give up."

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  16. kdg411

    kdg411 Resource Mod

    Family told dead Chinese scholar's body may be in landfill

    In a statement, attorney Steve Beckett said the family of Yingying Zhang was notified by prosecutors that Brendt Christensen's attorneys provided information that led investigators to think the "potential site" of the remains is the landfill in Vermilion County along the Illinois-Indiana border. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office, Sharon Paul, declined to comment on Beckett's statement.


    Beckett was to have a press conference Friday afternoon to offer further details about his statement, but in a statement he said that press conference has been postponed until next week so that the family's Chinese attorney could attend.
  17. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    '20/20' to feature case of missing UI scholar, Yingying Zhang

    An East Central Illinois missing person's case has captured people's attention not only locally, but nationally as well.

    "20/20" will be featuring the case of missing University of Illinois scholar, Yingying Zhang on Friday, Nov. 15.

    “20/20” reveals how Christensen's girlfriend worked with the FBI to go undercover and secretly record a confession that ultimately cracked the case wide open.

    The two-hour program features surveillance footage of Yingying’s last steps the day she vanished and exclusive interviews with Michael Christensen, Brendt’s father; FBI Special Agent Anthony Manganaro, lead agent on the case; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene Miller, lead prosecutor on the case.

    The "20/20" special report will air at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15 on ABC.

    spike, Kimster, kdg411 and 1 other person like this.
  18. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    I'm watching the special. Oh my goodness. They have videos of her - and was she a brilliant young lady or what? :tears:
  19. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    That was difficult to watch! The killer told his girlfriend that this was his 13th killing. They can't find any any evidence that he's telling the truth, however. Typical sociopath.:mad:

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