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Killer of Chinese scholar will serve life in prison [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2019-7-19 15:57:10 |Display all floors

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A federal judge on Thursday sentenced Brendt Christensen, a former University of Illinois doctoral student, to life in prison without possibility of release for the kidnapping and killing of Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang after a jury said it was unable to reach a unanimous decision on sentencing him to death or life in prison.

The jury deliberated for roughly eight hours over two days after more than a week of testimony in the trial's penalty phase during which they heard from Zhang's parents and brother, as well as her fiance. Zhang's family traveled to Peoria from their home in China for both the guilt and penalty phases of the trial.

Zhang's father, Zhang Ronggao, called the loss of his daughter "completely unbearable," in court last week.

"To tell you the truth, I do not know how to live the remainder of my life," he said through a translator.

The same jurors took less than 90 minutes to convict Christensen last month of kidnapping and killing Zhang.

Prosecutors and Zhang's family had pushed for the death penalty, but the jury's decision on that had to be unanimous. If even one juror opposed, then the life sentence was applied.

Illinois abolished the death penalty in 2011, but Christensen was prosecuted under federal law. If he had been sentenced to death, he would have been executed by lethal injection.

Christensen, 30, a former graduate student at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, the same school Zhang Yingying was attending, would have been the first person to be sentenced to death in a federal courthouse in Illinois since 2006, if the jury reached a unanimous verdict that he should be executed.

Zhang was last seen alive on June 9, 2017, getting into Christensen's black Saturn Astra on the University of Illinois campus after she missed a bus to an appointment. The two did not previously know each other.

Christensen's lawyers admitted in June 2017 that he raped and killed the 26-year-old Zhang, and they sought life in prison rather than the death penalty.

Prosecutors said Christensen raped, choked and stabbed Zhang before beating her to death with a bat and decapitating her. Christensen has never revealed what he did with Zhang's remains.

FBI investigators testified they found her blood and DNA inside Christensen's Champaign apartment, where the former PhD candidate said he raped, beat and decapitated her, according to a statement he made to his then-girlfriend as they attended a memorial vigil for Zhang. Christensen was unaware his girlfriend was cooperating with the FBI and wearing a wire.

The defense tried to cast doubt on the recording, noting that he also claimed he had 12 other victims, a claim the FBI hasn't been able to corroborate.

That tape was played for jurors multiple times during trial and extensively during the government's closing statements Wednesday.

Prosecutors, in seeking the death penalty, presented aggravating factors such as Zhang's killing was pre-meditated, that she died during the commission of another crime – kidnapping, and she was particularly vulnerable because of her small size and limited English-speaking ability.


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Post time 2019-7-19 17:16:35 |Display all floors
This post was edited by 1626548377 at 2019-7-20 09:09

Send your children to the most violent country in the world and a good chance something horrible will happen. Chinese parents must not complain if something happen to their children.
Human lives mean nothing when the western warmongers see a bigger gain through war

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Post time 2019-7-20 01:12:00 |Display all floors
so sad, we can not open his mouth let out the truth.

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Post time 2019-7-22 11:58:40 |Display all floors
Chinese parents must not complain if this sort of thing happen, they know well enough that the US is a dangerous country.
Last week I've spoke to a young girl who live in our building (very limited English skills) she will leave to a Toronto university in the near future, who absolutely don't want to go, but she said her parents forced her to go. That let you think if this is the case in many of Chinese students who are studying in other countries.
Human lives mean nothing when the western warmongers see a bigger gain through war

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Post time 2019-7-22 20:57:43 |Display all floors
1626548377 Post time: 2019-7-21 22:58
Chinese parents must not complain if this sort of thing happen, they know well enough that the US is ...

Toronto university.......

Not a good time for Chinese to go to Canada.
Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. Mark Twain

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Post time 2019-7-23 09:37:23 |Display all floors
Saul Post time: 2019-7-22 20:57
Toronto university.......

Not a good time for Chinese to go to Canada.

Just because one Chinese person got arrested transiting through Vancouver, does not mean that Toronto is unsafe. There are over 700,000 Chinese-Canadians living in the metro-Toronto area. Over 500,000 living in the Vancouver region. How many do you think feel unsafe? ZERO!! If they did, it would be all over the news and social media, and the Chinese would be fleeing Canada by the planeload.
Stupid people are like Glowsticks. You want to snap them in half and shake the crap out of them until they see the light.
I love sarcasm. It's like punching someone in the head ... only with words

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Post time 2019-7-23 20:32:19 |Display all floors
cmknight Post time: 2019-7-22 20:37
Just because one Chinese person got arrested transiting through Vancouver, does not mean that Toro ...

Plenty of people in Canada hate the Chinese.

You would know that if you were white or Native.


Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. Mark Twain

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