Life in balance for scholar's killer

World | ASSOCIATED PRESS 19 Jul 2019

Jurors went into day two of deciding whether a former University of Illinois doctoral student deserves the death penalty for killing a scholar from China.

The choices for Illinois jurors in a federal court in Peoria are whether Brendt Christensen, 30, should die or spend the rest his life behind bars for abducting and raping Zhang Yingying, 26, and beating her to death with a bat.

They took less than 90 minutes to convict Christensen.

In the penalty stage they must decide if Christensen showed unusual cruelty in the killing and if he has redeeming qualities.

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