PINE KNOT, KY. (WCIA) — The man convicted of kidnapping and killing U of I scholar Yingying Zhang is now in a maximum security prison.
Brendt Christensen was moved from the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Center and will spend the rest of his life, unless he is transferred, at a high security federal prison in southeastern Kentucky.
Zhang family lawyer Steve Beckett says the family had been asking for updates for several months about where Christensen was going to serve his life sentence.
“I think the family wants to feel that he has consequences,” says Beckett.
Beckett says he contacted the family right when he heard the news.
For the Zhangs, it was about peace of mind. They hoped Christensen would be put under maximum security watch as soon as possible.
“And by having him in a facility where he is surrounded by people of violence. Maybe that’s something that will ameliorate the very hurtful feelings and emotional damage that he’s done, but that will never replace Yingying,” says Beckett.
Christensen had requested to be transferred to a prison in Arizona, but was denied most likely due to security reasons.
The penitentiary in Pine Knot, Kentucky is called USP Mccreary. It is an all-male maximum security prison.
Christensen will join over 1,400 other inmates, including Thomas Pitera — a former hitman for the infamous Bonnano crime family.