Lawyer Admits Client's Guilt in Killing of Visiting Scholar

June 13, 2019

The defense attorney for a former University of Illinois graduate student accused of killing a visiting scholar from China in April 2017 admitted his client’s guilt as the trial started on Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reported. “Brendt Christensen killed Yingying Zhang, and nothing we say or do during this phase of the trial is intended to sidestep or deny that Brendt Christensen was responsible for the death of Yingying Zhang,” Christensen’s attorney said in an opening statement.

Christensen is accused of luring Zhang, age 26, into his car and taking her to his apartment, where he allegedly raped, beat and killed her. An assistant U.S. attorney told the jury that Christensen was heard on a recording discussing in detail how he choked Zhang, split her head with a baseball bat and decapitated her. Christensen is possibly facing the death penalty.

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