Christensen makes first court appearance

Local News
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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Hundreds are outside the federal courthouse in Urbana.

Brendt Christensen will have his first court appearance. He is accused of kidnapping U of I Scholar YingYing Zhang. Police have not found Zhang and believe she may be dead. 

Christensen has been charged by compliant and charged with kidnapping with a maximum sentence being life in prison. 

They only allowed a handful of people inside. 

The sketches below are from Sketch Artist Cheryl Cook. 

We spoke to people as they exited the courthouse. They say Christensen didn’t say a lot today. 

He was asked if he understood his charges, and he replied yes. 

Sources say he seemed unemotional during the hearing. He only answered yes or no and spoke to his lawyer, Evan Bruno. 

Bruno spoke with the media saying ” I encourage everyone to be patient, keep an open mind, and wait until evidence comes in.” 

We were told Christensen was wearing a grey and black prison suit and his feet were shackled. 

YingYing’s dad, aunt and boyfriend were inside. No word on if Christensen’s family was there. 


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