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Still Missing IL - Yingying Zhang, 26, Urbana, 9 June 2017 #8 *Arrest*

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

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  1. dm92

    dm92 Well-Known Member

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    I will be interested to see what article it was that he downloaded on decomposition. My guess is that will shed a lot of potential clues on what he did with her. I still think that they, at least at one time, suspected he put her remains in water, because they were searching the lake near his apartment over a period of three days while he was under surveillance, and they were searching some other ponds the evening after he was arrested.
     
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  2. dm92

    dm92 Well-Known Member

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    By "tried again," they mean taken to trial in this civil matter, not having his criminal prosecution vacated and having to have it litigated again. Some aspects of the case (basically the kidnapping and evidence of what he did with her) would be heard again, as he is being sued for damages for battery and wrongful death. No reason her parents would have to be here for this and hear it all again.....

    BC almost certainly has nothing, so the only reason I could see for suing him would be to get a portion of whatever little money he makes in prison, or to ensure that he can't profit off of his crime by selling his story, writing books, granting paid interviews -stuff like that. Whatever money he might happen to make, her estate would get the lion's share of it
     
  3. dm92

    dm92 Well-Known Member

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    Neither. It was Katcher. I just looked it up again......
     
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  4. PSR2018

    PSR2018 New Member

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    A while back on here someone mentioned a rumor that Christensen was seen dumping a duffel bag in the dumpster at his apartment complex. And didn't we just learn the other day that he purchased a large heavy-duty duffel bag prior to killing her? If that's what happened, it seems highly unlikely that the body would ever be recoverable.
     
  5. dm92

    dm92 Well-Known Member

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    Only thing I saw after they adjourned was that one of the newspeople covering it said they would start with an FBI agent tomorrow. They had submitted really long lists of potential witnesses to be called (100+ for the prosecution and ~60 something for the defense, IIRC) but those weren't all going to be called. Now, with his defense basically admitting he did it, my guess is that they will call even fewer than planned.

    I'm sure we will still hear all of the recordings. I'm sure we will hear all the gruesome details of what he said he did, I'm sure we'll see all the forensic evidence that corroborates what he says he did (biological and electronic), and I'm sure we will see all the evidence that suggests planning, premeditation, and the coverup afterward -because the prosecution will want the jury to see *all* of it in order to drive home the message that BC deserves the death penalty for this.

    I'm not sure if they will call TEB or not now. Why call her if the defense admitted he did it, and they can just play the tapes with Huckstadt (the FBI agent who worked most with her) on the stand? Calling her gives the defense the option to cross-examine her, and do things to try and garner sympathy for him. It's his words on the tapes that matter most
     
  6. dm92

    dm92 Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, I think it was someone recalled seeing him dump some trash bags in the trash that weekend, and someone recalled seeing him with a big duffel bag in the parking lot. They do have amazon records evidently that show he purchased a 6-foot long duffel bag that March. Most seem to think he used the duffel bag to carry her remains out to be taken for disposal -after that is where it gets murky, and all the theories of disposal begin.
     
  7. trunkizback

    trunkizback Well-Known Member

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    Just now got through reading all of todays' posts. Was just sitting here letting all of this ugliness sink in. I'm tired and ready for bed ..when it hit me...
    YY's Mother, and family now KNOW...they've suspected it...dreaded it...hoped it wasn't so..OMG..I want so bad to just hug them. And apologize for the monsters that exist. This will for sure be a restless night for me. But for them?? So Gdammned f$$#kin unfair!!
    Ya know..you hear about murders everyday in our world. And as bad as most of them are...they at least follow a script, of sorts. A lover's argument goes too far...some punk sticks up a gas station and shoots someone..guy catches his wife cheatin...yada yada...But this one? He killed her..just to kill her..didn't even know her...I dunno..maybe I'm just too naive, but I just can't wrap my head around this. I'm not normally all that religious, but tonight I will pray for the Zhanng family. I'm with Kitty on this part...BC is gonna be convicted, maybe even sentenced to die..but that's all secondary . My concerns will be the Zhanngs now.
     
  8. trunkizback

    trunkizback Well-Known Member

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    And just think on how many bodies of water are close...and I don't mean Kickapoo or Clinton close..Within one mile of his apt..is of course that one across the street that was searched..but D&W campground is 90 ' deep. every road that has an overpass over I 57 and the ones over I 74 and even I72 have " barrow " pits. All are plenty deep. You see em all the time..but no one really pays attention to them. ( well maybe fishermen do )..but rough estimate is around 10 pits within 2 miles..
     
  9. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    Thanks!

    If he was charged with first degree murder he could be asserting either self defense or second degree or manslaughter. I'd have to know more.
     
  10. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    What words exactly did he say to admit guilt? What else did he say in his opener?
     
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  11. dm92

    dm92 Well-Known Member

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    What makes me livid is that his defense has known for two years that he did it, delayed at every possible point as much as they could, attempted AGAIN moments before opening statements commenced to delay indefinitely because of the civil suit being filed -then the moment it was their turn......... first thing out of their mouth was "he did it." They tortured the poor Zhang family for two years -and attempted to prolong the torture for and indefinite period with their last-second motion. Tortured them by prolonging the period over which they had to wait for answers as to what happened to their daughter. They had not heard anything about how she was killed. Only that LE believed she was dead. Her mother was still holding out hope that she had somehow survived. I understand the need to try and build a mitigating case to spare his life, but at some point, the delays just come off as denial and cruelty to her family. They spent months arguing over aspects of a mental health mitigation defense for the penalty phase -only to throw it away in a few days because BC didn't want the government's doctors to examine him in rebuttal; and bear in mind, this was after the Shadid had granted them another continuance of a couple of months because they had screwed up in trying to procure another mental health expert to examine him.

    I know they are entitled to pursue a vigorous defense of him, and to pull out all the stops to try and spare his life, but at some point, it just comes off as cruel to her family. None of this shows a shred of something that might provide mitigation: evidence that he is sorry for what he has done and what he put her, her family and her friends through for the past two years -and onward for years to come.

    This suggests to me one thing. BC doesn't want the death penalty. He wants life in prison, without having to apologize for what he has done, and without explaining what he did with her remains, and giving them to her family if that is possible.

    I hope this strategy backfires on them, and the jury sees that he has been playing stall and delay as long as possible, and that it pisses them off. Sadly, I have a sick feeling that there will be one or two suckers on the jury who will fall for it or some other mitigating argument
     
  12. dm92

    dm92 Well-Known Member

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    Don't know how much you know so forgive me if I am not helping, but it is Federal Kidnapping resulting in death that he is charged with, and the DOJ is seeking the death penalty.
     
  13. dm92

    dm92 Well-Known Member

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    After the prosecution made their opening statement, his defense attorney opened by saying that his client killed her, and that they wouldn't try to deny it. Everything would be focused on mitigation to spare him the death penalty. This was after pleading not guilty and maneuvering for two years before now finally going to trial.
     
  14. dm92

    dm92 Well-Known Member

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    Going to be busy with work tomorrow, so no idea if I can give any breaking updates off of the radio or off of twitter. Will be interesting to see what we find out.

    Such a sad event, and a sad two year saga. Thankful that it is finally coming to a resolution.. I just hope the Zhang family gets what they want -especially, ultimately, her remains to take home- and feels that justice has been done for their daughter.....
     
  15. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    Hmm. If it wasn't for your subsequent post I would think he was going to try to claim there was no kidnapping. Just murder.

    Very strange tactic. But an opening statement is not evidence. So the state still has to go through the motions. Unless the defendant changes his plea officially.

    Weird. What a waste of tax payer monies.
     
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  16. katydid23

    katydid23 Verified Juanette

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    “Brendt Christensen is responsible for the death of Yingying Zhang,” defense attorney George Taseff said Wednesday in his opening statement to jurors in a Peoria federal courtroom. “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, 29, faces the death penalty if he’s convicted of abducting and murdering Zhang, a visiting researcher at the university’s Urbana-Champaign campus. Taseff told the jury that Christensen “is on trial for his life in this case,” indicating his efforts will focus on sentencing.

    If Christensen is found guilty in Zhang’s 2017 disappearance, a second phase will begin and the same jury will be asked to decide on the death penalty. Capital punishment was abolished in Illinois state courts in 2011 but remains an option in federal court.


    In their opening statement, prosecutors alleged that Christensen was captured on tape bragging that Zhang was his 13th victim, though they gave no indication there was any credence to the claim. They described Christensen as a man who had become infatuated with serial killers and had plotted a kidnapping and killing in the months before he lured the 26-year-old Zhang into his vehicle on the university campus.

    As the investigation gained steam, Christensen’s then-girlfriend wore a wire for the FBI. In one recording, Christensen described in detail how he had choked Zhang, split her head open with a baseball bat and then decapitated her, Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene Miller told jurors.
    In opening statement, attorney admits Brendt Christensen abducted, killed Chinese scholar at University of Illinois
     
  17. Ursamajr

    Ursamajr haunter of the woods

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    wait... what?? 13th? thats pretty specific and it's heavy if they don't prove that. what do they know?
     
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  18. katydid23

    katydid23 Verified Juanette

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    I think that he lied about all that to his girlfriend. I dont think there were any previous victims. But I could be wrong.



    Taseff cast doubt on those claims, saying his client was drunk at the time and noting there is no evidence linking Christensen to other killings.

    “The evidence is going to show that’s just false,” Taseff said. “It’s not just false, there is no way that can be proven.”

    The defense painted Christensen as a “brilliant” graduate student at the university who was dealing with substance abuse issues, a failing marriage and an increasingly troubled academic record. Taseff said Christensen reached his lowest point on June 9, 2017, the date of the alleged abduction.
     
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  19. dm92

    dm92 Well-Known Member

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    Someone on twitter was saying by doing this (pleading not guilty even though they know he did it) they got it in front of a jury, where all they need to do is convince *one * juror to not execute him, instead of pleading guilty and risking the judge passing the sentence, and this got them lots and lots of time to work on mitigation.
     
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  20. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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    Thursday, June 13th:
    *Trial continues (Day 2) (@ 9am 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 & 2 counts of giving false statements to FBI. Plead not guilty. Held without bond. DA will seek DP.
    Trial started 6/3/19 with jury selection & took until 6/11/19 to pick a jury. Trial should last about a week & a half (was 5 weeks previously). Opening statements expected to start 6/12 Wednesday morning. Judge expects a verdict between June 21 and June 24. If there ends up being a sentencing phase, judge believes it would start on July 8 so the 4th of July wouldn't interfere with the process. 12 jurors & 6 alternates.
    Jury consists of: 7 men & 5 women. (1 white man in 80s, 1 white man 70s, 2 white men 60s, 2 white men 50s, 1 white man 40s. 1 Asian or white women 60s, 3 white woman in her 40s, 1 white woman 30s). Alternates: 4 men & 2 women. (2 white men 50s, 2 white men 60s, 2 white woman 50s).

    Jury selection Day 1 to 7 (6/3/19 to 6/7/19) reference post #817 here:
    Still Missing - IL - Yingying Zhang, 26, Urbana, 9 June 2017 #8 *Arrest*

    6/12/19 Day 1: Defense filed a motion to delay the trial due to the civil lawsuit filed yesterday. Shadid denied this last-minute motion, and the trial will proceed. Defense: The stunning opening line from Christensen’s defense team came after prosecutors spent 45 minutes outlining the gruesome details of Zhang’s death, claiming the visiting scholar was raped, beaten and decapitated inside Christensen’s Champaign apartment. Defense: Christensen killed Yingying.
    State witnesses: UIPD Officer George Sandwick (who recovered video of Yingying getting into Christensen's vehicle). Showed video. UPID Officer James Carter (collected evidence @ crime scene). Xiaolin Hou (Zhang’s boyfriend). UIPD Officer Tara Hurless. UIPD officer Ken Costa. Prof. Kaiyu Guan (worked for him at UI). No name (Property Marketing Mgr). A manager (no name given) Defense did not cross exam any of the 3 first witnesses. Not sure of correct order of witnesses. Trial continues on 6/13.



    If someone sees anything "wrong" on the witnesses or names - please let me know! TIA! :)
     
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