Jury selection continues amid concerns about conflicts

Local News

CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Vetting for qualified potential jurors for Brendt Christensen’s trial has entered a sixth day.

Christensen is accused of kidnapping and killing UI scholar Yingying Zhang in June 2017.

Monday morning, Judge Jim Shadid noted seven of the already approved 69 potential jurors had indicated they might have conflicts which could interfere with their ability to serve.

Shadid had expressed his own concern Friday a pool of 69 wasn’t enough.

Monday morning’s new group of 11 potentials were somewhat experienced in the courtroom. Five told the judge they’d previously served on a jury.

Tuesday, 12 jurors and 6 alternates are set to be selected for the trial. Christensen’s legal team and US Attorneys will begin eliminating potential jurors through a series of “strikes.”

Opening statements are scheduled to begin at 9 am, Wednesday. 

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