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Judge OKs cadaver dog evidence in Chinese scholar’s case

February 17, 2019

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A federal judge has denied a request to exclude evidence about a cadaver-sniffing dog from the trial of a former University of Illinois physics student accused of killing a Chinese scholar in 2017.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that U.S. District Judge James Shadid ruled Friday that prosecutors can present evidence from McHenry County Deputy Sheriff Jeremy Bruketta’s dog Sage. The judge found both Sage and Bruketta to be reliable.

The FBI says the canine “possibly indicated an alert” in the bathroom of Brendt Christensen’s off-campus apartment in Urbana.

Prosecutors are trying to prove Christensen kidnapped and killed 26-year-old Yingying Zhang. The scholar from China is presumed dead, but her body hasn’t been found.

Christensen faces the death penalty if convicted at his trial, which is scheduled to begin in April.

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