- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 11, 2019

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A jury has been selected in the trial of a former graduate student accused of kidnapping and killing a University of Illinois scholar from China.

A federal judge in Peoria, Illinois, told jurors to return Wednesday for opening statements. Brendt Christensen could be sentenced to death if convicted in the 2017 slaying of Yingying Zhang, whose body hasn’t been found.

The case is a rare instance of the U.S. Justice Department seeking the death penalty in one of the more than 20 states that doesn’t have capital punishment. Federal law allows executions for exceptional crimes.


TOP STORIES
Comedian Patton Oswalt blasts Trump voters: 'Stupid a--holes'
Evangelist Franklin Graham calls impeachment hearing 'a day of shame for America'
Mitch McConnell: 'No chance' that Trump is removed from office


The Justice Department cited evidence that Christensen tortured Zhang after taking advantage of the 26-year-old woman’s small size and lack of English-speaking skills to lure her into his car.

Jury selection began June 3.



Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide