AP NEWS

Man convicted in Chinese scholar’s death cries in court

July 10, 2019
FILE - This photo provided by the Macon County Sheriff's Office in Decatur, Ill., shows Brendt Christensen. Jurors who will decide whether the former University of Illinois doctoral student should be executed for the kidnapping and brutal slaying of a Chinese scholar are hearing about what the victim meant to those closest to her. A federal jury that last month found Christensen guilty in the killing is deciding if he should be put to death. (Macon County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A former University of Illinois doctoral student convicted in the death of a Chinese scholar broke down crying as his father described how a death sentence would affect him.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that Michael Christensen testified Wednesday before the federal jury that convicted his son of kidnapping and killing 26-year-old Yingying Zhang in 2017. Jurors are to decide whether Brendt Christensen should be sentenced to death.

Michael Christensen testified that he has tried to picture his son about to be executed but that he “had to stop” because he “can’t think of that too much.”

Brendt Christensen’s face was red and his lawyers had their arms around him when his father left for a break.

Christensen’s father told jurors he still loves and supports his son.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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