Trial in slaying of Chinese scholar starts today

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WCIA) — Opening statements are set for Wednesday in the death-penalty trial of a former University of Illinois graduate student charged with kidnapping, torturing and killing a visiting Chinese scholar; a case closely watched by Chinese students across the U.S.

A federal judge moved the trial to Peoria, in Central Illinois, after Brendt Christensen’s lawyers said pretrial publicity would have made it impossible for the 29-year old former physics student to get a fair trial in the Champaign area, where the 45,000-student university is located.

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