Still Missing IL - Yingying Zhang, 26, Urbana, 9 June 2017 #7 *Arrest*

Discussion in 'Trials' started by liltexans, Jul 2, 2017.

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  1. kittythehare

    kittythehare Well-Known Member

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    It's worth a shot. How about putting up a notice at the college website?
    There is always hope...dna will be preserved in very many situations...
     
  2. dm92

    dm92 Well-Known Member

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    No, no, no. It’s still on the table. His defense is trying to get it thrown out of federal court, and have it referred to Illinois for prosecution. That way, they will spare him the death penalty automatically, as Illinois doesn’t have it.

    The judge stated that use of a cellphone is under federal jurisdiction, so it is sounding like he will not grant the defense’s wishes and it will stay in Federal court.... but no ruling has been issued yet, so keep your fingers crossed.

    Even if he does throw it out of Federal court, the prosecution would absolutely appeal his decision, and he might be overruled, but hopefully that is not necessary. If he is saying that use of a cellphone is covered by the commerce clause, then it’s hard to imagine that he could throw it out....
     
  3. Webthrush

    Webthrush Ohhh, and one more thing...

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    Somewhere I had the impression that her being a foreign national and not an American citizen also contributed to this going to Federal Court, or is that completely wrong? Is the cellphone use (in commission of kidnapping/murder) the ONLY thing landing this in Fed. Ct. (assuming perp didn't venture across state lines)?
     
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  4. kittythehare

    kittythehare Well-Known Member

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    Thanks DM.. far as I remember the two points made for the fed case justification were the phone and his car as instruments of interstate commerce... It's in the early threads... we discussed it a lot...and Webthrush, the car had crossed state lines from it's point of purchase to it's use as a massacre chamber... it was odd at the time, but we did thrash it out. Changing venue and changing his psychiatric diagnosis at this stage to schizophrenia following diet of mother during her pregnancy with him is showing little respect for YY and her status as a guest in the country. As well as costing quite a lot of money. It is likely his appeals will continue for many years, if he is convicted?
    It is strange that no clue at all has been suggested in relation to the possible whereabouts of her body, none at all. Even pre-planned and even efficient, it is almost impossible to get inside his head regarding his plans for her disposal. It had to be fast and relatively close to his apartment.

    It is very strange that the g/f did not ask him that question during their taped conversations.. it seems like an obvious question, maybe she did ask and he did not tell her? But, he was bragging, feeling like a star, watching the crowds that had shown up to respect the victim of his handiwork, and planning his next abduction from the assembled crowds...

    I cannot remember if the car he used had gps tracking? Is Mrs O Brien around? Remember we did a car model analysis?
     
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  5. dm92

    dm92 Well-Known Member

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    here's the segment from the article regarding the phone and car:

    PEORIA — U.S. District Judge James Shadid didn't act on motions to dismiss the case against accused kidnapper and killer Brendt Christensen, but did indicate Friday that he'd rule against at least one part of them.

    Christensen, his attorneys and prosecutors met for three hours Friday morning at the federal courthouse in Peoria to argue whether the case should be tried in state or federal court.

    While Shadid said he was still reviewing the defense's argument that the car Christensen used isn't an instrument of interstate commerce under federal jurisdiction, he said a cellphone definitely is.

    hopefully this is enough to keep it in Federal Court...


    As to the role her being a Chinese national played, yes the government cites it as one reason they have an interest in the case:

    Christensen's attorneys have argued that the cellphone wasn't used to commit the alleged crime and that the car didn't cross state borders.

    On Friday, one of his lawyers, Robert Tucker, claimed that the main reason federal prosecutors wanted this case was to seek the death penalty.

    "Not that they said that out and out," Tucker said, but he indicated he had gathered that from discussions with prosecutors.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene Miller strongly disagreed, and at one point, lawyers entered the judge's chambers to discuss the matter.

    "We know that not to be true," Miller said, adding that there are various reasons it was in the federal government's interest to take the case, including that the FBI was involved early on and that it involved a Chinese national.


    More on "interstate commerce" in regards to kidnapping:


    Beyond that, he said the federal laws about kidnapping clearly allow for federal jurisdiction when an instrument of interstate commerce is used.

    Miller noted that the law originally included the phrase "instruments in interstate commerce," but was updated in 2006 to "instruments of interstate commerce." He said this showed that Congress wanted to include cars whether or not they crossed state borders.

    "in" made it sound like the instruments had to be in use in commerce, while "of" makes it sound like they just must be an instrument, and not actually engaged as such during the act.....
     
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  6. kittythehare

    kittythehare Well-Known Member

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  7. dm92

    dm92 Well-Known Member

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  8. kittythehare

    kittythehare Well-Known Member

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    OMG!
    I'm hoping it's not in connection with 'insufficient evidence'.
    Very odd.


    There are a helluva lot of very serious violations alleged in this, could jeopardise the entire trial and seems to have been foolhardy, particularly in a death penalty case.
    All they needed was a request from prison staff, a simple phonecall.
    This could go belly-up.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  9. dm92

    dm92 Well-Known Member

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    Another update:

    Evidently, BC’s defense subpoenaed TEB to testify as a witness in one of the evidentiary hearings that is upcoming. The US filed a motion seeking to quash the subpoena, stating that the defense is calling her for no other reason but to try and impeach her as a witness.

    In the txt of the motion, the prosecution confirms that TEB recorded BC telling her how he killed YY. This is probably the recording that the Zhang family lawyer was speaking about when hetold a Chinese journalist that he knew prosecutors had a recording of BC explaining how he killed YY.

    https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.ilcd.70076/gov.uscourts.ilcd.70076.188.0.pdf
     
  10. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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    Monday, December 17th:
    *Pretrial Motions & Jury Questions Hearing Continues (@ ET) - IL - Yingying Zhang (26) (missing on June 9, 2017, Urbana, not found) - *Brendt A. Christensen (28) indicted (6/30/17) on kidnapping (Federal charge) resulting in death of Yingying and 2 counts of giving false statements to FBI. Plead not guilty; DA will seek DP.
    12/17, 18 & 19: Hearing on pretrial motions & jury questions; 1/4/19: Submission of proposed jury questionnaire; 1/11: Jury questionnaire mailed; 1/18: Objections to jury instructions; 2/1: Conf. on jury instructions & selection; 2/8: Motion in limine; 3/1: Response to Motion in limine; 3/4: Motion to strike potential jurors; 3/11: Pretrial Conf.; 3/25: Final Pretrial Conf.; 4/2: Jury Orientation; 4/3: Jury Selection begins; Trial begins 4/9, should last about 5 weeks.
    9/28/18 Update: Motion for Change of Venue filed by Defense (to Peoria division).

    11/16/18 Update re motions filed: 1) Christensen's defense filed a motion requesting more time to file a proposed jury questionnaire on the 15th. 2) Judge Shadid issued a ruling denying BC's motion for a bill of particulars that would require the government to detail, among other things, how BC used his phone in commission of the crime, the particulars of how he expressed a lack of remorse, identify the other "serious acts of violence" and so on.
    12/4/18 Update: Defense files Motion on Notice of Intent to Present Expert Evidence Relating to Mental Condition on the Issue of Punishment. This only applies to the punishment phase, if he should be found guilty. They are not going to try and argue that he is not guilty by reason of insanity.
    12/14/18: Judge Shadid will hear a motion by Christensen arguing that his case should be a matter at the state level rather than the federal, along with a motion challenging the constitutionality of the Federal Death Penalty Act.
    The hearing on these matters is scheduled for Dec. 17 and 18, along with a hearing Dec. 18 on motions to suppress jail communications and statements from a jail-cell informant. The hearings may extend to Dec. 19 if necessary.
    Defense Motions: To suppress recordings his girlfriend made of him while wearing a wire. Allegedly heard on another recording describing how he kidnapped Ms. Zhang and how she fought and resisted when she was brought to his apartment. Challenging the legality of using statements Christensen gave to a jail-cell informant.
     
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  11. kittythehare

    kittythehare Well-Known Member

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    I'm wondering whether the cell-mate is the same cellmate that was mentioned when he first went to prison?
     
  12. kittythehare

    kittythehare Well-Known Member

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    this bit a tad worrying?
    1 Notably, it is believed that the defendant continued to engage in sexual contact with T.B. during the same time period that she was recording their conversations. If, as the defendant suggests, T.B. lacked “the mental capacity to knowingly and voluntarily agree to anything,” (R.96 at 15), then she was unable to legally consent to sexual contact with the defendant. Thus, if the defendant’s allegations were true, he has admitted to repeatedly sexually assaulting T.B. Fed. R. Evid. 801(d)(2)(C); 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/11-1.20(a)(2), (b) (noting that is a Class 1 felony in Illinois to engage in sexual penetration with a person who is “unable to give knowing consent”). Of course, the United States submits that the defendant’s claim that T.B. could not consent to “anything” is without merit
     
  13. kittythehare

    kittythehare Well-Known Member

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    this bit a tad worrying?
    1 Notably, it is believed that the defendant continued to engage in sexual contact with T.B. during the same time period that she was recording their conversations. If, as the defendant suggests, T.B. lacked “the mental capacity to knowingly and voluntarily agree to anything,” (R.96 at 15), then she was unable to legally consent to sexual contact with the defendant. Thus, if the defendant’s allegations were true, he has admitted to repeatedly sexually assaulting T.B. Fed. R. Evid. 801(d)(2)(C); 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/11-1.20(a)(2), (b) (noting that is a Class 1 felony in Illinois to engage in sexual penetration with a person who is “unable to give knowing consent”). Of course, the United States submits that the defendant’s claim that T.B. could not consent to “anything” is without merit
     
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  14. dm92

    dm92 Well-Known Member

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    Update from today's hearing in the AM:

    Officer to Christensen: 'I know you picked her up'

    Some tidbits:

    BC's wife was out of town when YY wa kidnapped, as thought.

    In the initial interview with agents st the apartment, BC's wife told them that she was afraid of her husband
     
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  15. kittythehare

    kittythehare Well-Known Member

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    Events are hotting up, unexpectedly. The emergency motion hearing could be devastating... I cannot understand why they did it...
    ..unless they received a tip that something was hidden there, photographs or maps or other evidence that could connect him to the site of her remains? Crazy guessing, I know.
     
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  16. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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    Tuesday, December 18th:
    *Pretrial Motions & Jury Questions Hearing Continues (@ ET) - IL - Yingying Zhang (26) (missing on June 9, 2017, Urbana; not found) - *Brendt A. Christensen (28) indicted on kidnapping (Federal charge) resulting in death of Yingying and 2 counts of giving false statements to FBI. Plead not guilty; DA will seek DP.
    12/18 & 19: Hearing on pretrial motions & jury questions; 1/4/19: Submission of proposed jury questionnaire; 1/11: Jury questionnaire mailed; 1/18: Objections to jury instructions; 2/1: Conf. on jury instructions & selection; 2/8: Motion in limine; 3/1: Response to Motion in limine; 3/4: Motion to strike potential jurors; 3/11: Pretrial Conf.; 3/25: Final Pretrial Conf.; 4/2: Jury Orientation; 4/3: Jury Selection begins; 4/9: Trial begins, which should last about 5 weeks.
    9/28/18 Update: Motion for Change of Venue filed by Defense (to Peoria division).
    11/16/18 Update re motions filed: 1) Christensen's defense filed a motion requesting more time to file a proposed jury questionnaire on the 15th. 2) Judge Shadid issued a ruling denying BC's motion for a bill of particulars that would require the government to detail, among other things, how BC used his phone in commission of the crime, the particulars of how he expressed a lack of remorse, identify the other "serious acts of violence" and so on.
    12/4/18 Update: Defense files Motion on Notice of Intent to Present Expert Evidence Relating to Mental Condition on the Issue of Punishment. This only applies to the punishment phase, if he should be found guilty. They are not going to try and argue that he is not guilty by reason of insanity.
    12/14/18: Judge Shadid will hear a motion by Christensen arguing that his case should be a matter at the state level rather than the federal, along with a motion challenging the constitutionality of the Federal Death Penalty Act.
    The hearing on these matters is scheduled for Dec. 17 and 18, along with a hearing Dec. 18 on motions to suppress jail communications and statements from a jail-cell informant. The hearings may extend to Dec. 19 if necessary. Defense Motions: To suppress recordings his girlfriend made of him while wearing a wire. Allegedly heard on another recording describing how he kidnapped Ms. Zhang and how she fought and resisted when she was brought to his apartment. Challenging the legality of using statements Christensen gave to a jail-cell informant.
    12/17/18 Update: FBI interview was played in court Monday (12/17) in Urbana as U.S. District Judge James Shadid weighs motions by Christensen's lawyers to suppress evidence from Christensen's apartments, statements he made to FBI agents & recordings made by his girlfriend wearing a wire. Instead of saying he was sleeping or playing video games, as FBI agents said he initially did, Christensen said he picked Ms. Zhang up & dropped her off a few blocks away. So far, Judge Shadid has not ruled on any of the motions before him for the pretrial hearings. He said he expects to rule Tuesday (12/18) on an emergency motion by Christensen's lawyers. In their motion, they're asked Judge Shadid to force prosecutors to share what they found.
     
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  17. dm92

    dm92 Well-Known Member

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    More info on yesterday's testimony:

    'We were going to arrest Brendt': Authorities detail investigation into accused kidnapper

    If note: When BC's wife returned on Monday, she noted the gas tank of the Astra was down to half full, after she had filled it before leaving Friday. I don't know the gas mileage of a typical ten year old Astra, but factoring in also driving around town on Friday to search for someone to abduct, this means her body (if it was not destroyed) must be relatively close to Champaign. Probably within 100 miles. That's still a lot of area to search....
     
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  18. Webthrush

    Webthrush Ohhh, and one more thing...

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    Wow! interesting article... and I'm actually surprised by the amount of gas gone! implies much more driving around than I'd have guessed (I don't consider "within 100 miles" to be particularly close); BUT it's meaningless as to total distance driven, since IF he drove to say WI. or Indiana etc., he probably filled tank on way back, so we'd have no idea of total gas usage (could be 2 tankfuls over weekend).
     
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  19. kittythehare

    kittythehare Well-Known Member

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    wOW!
    THIS!!!! She assisted in the search, Huckstadt said, at one point mentioning that her husband's favorite book, "American Psycho," wasn't in the apartment.

    I read that book many years ago, I recommend it highly to anyone trying to understand the mind and actions of a psychopath. (I lent it to a friend with another pile of books sometime after, e hasn't spoken to me since!!)

    Why did he remove that book?
    Was he referring to passages in it while he killed her? Hardly.
    Has he got a den somewhere?
    Wondering whether any laundry or other household items were removed from apartment as well?
    'american psycho' is not a book one would re-read.. it's messages are startlingly clear, cold and without humanity.
    But, because it is so many years since I read it and because the book went missing after or during the murder, maybe it will offer some clues.. why did he need to remove it? How come his wife noticed it was missing?

    I'm disgusted at the manner in which TEB is being violated by the prosecution- without her work, there would be no case because there is no body, probably no DNA...

    We need to figure a way to calculate the petrol usage for that car of that year. I don't imagine he used that much petrol while he was stalking, which means he either travelled out of town with the body or drove around for quite a while searching for a place to dispose of it.. back to dumpster theory... we only searched dumpsters within the vicinity, he could have driven to the next town to use a dumpster...

    ...but I think the fBI believe he had planned the whole execution meticulously, documented in previous court filings, which suggests he also planned the disposal.

    The missing book holds a clue, it must do. Could it be a thing that he decided to get rid of it after executing her because he would have expected a police visit and book held details that were significant to his actions? That won't wash as a theory because it was also listed on his facebook account as a favourite..Where the hell is that book and why would it be missing???
    Thanks DM for transcribing all of that with the excellent links and thanks for staying on top of it. (I disappeared because of frustration with entire case, and Gaza was calling me)
     
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  20. kittythehare

    kittythehare Well-Known Member

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