This undated photo provided by the University of Illinois Police Department shows Yingying Zhang. The parents of the visiting University of Illinois scholar who disappeared two years ago have arrived in Illinois from China for the murder trial of the man accused of abducting and killing her. Former Illinois student Brendt Christensen is charged with Zheng, whose body hasn't been found. He pleaded not guilty and his trial is set to begin Monday, June 3, 2019. (Courtesy of the University of Illinois Police Department via AP)

Openings Set At Illinois Trial In Slaying Of Chinese Scholar

June 11, 2019 - 11:29 pm
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CHICAGO (AP) — Opening statements are set for a federal death-penalty trial of a former University of Illinois graduate student charged with kidnapping and killing a visiting Chinese scholar.

After opening remarks to jurors Wednesday morning in Peoria, in central Illinois, federal prosecutors will call their first witnesses. Twelve jurors were picked Tuesday after a jury-selection process that last more than a week.

Brendt Christensen is accused of luring 26-gear-old Yingying Zhang into his car in June 2017 as she headed to sign a lease off campus.

A federal judge moved the trial to Peoria after Christensen's lawyers said pretrial publicity would have made it impossible for the 29-year-old to get a fair trial in the Champaign area, where U of I is located.

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