Brendt Christensen’s attorneys filed a court document Sunday requesting U.S. District Court Judge James Shadid for an emergency hearing regarding the FBI searching the accused kidnapper’s jail cell while he was in court Friday.
The defense is requesting an emergency hearing to address the situation and share any notes, pictures or other information they obtained, ahead of his trial that is set for April.
Christensen’s lawyers claimed the FBI came to the Livingston County jail on Friday and looked through his personal belongings while he was in court at the Federal Courthouse in Peoria. They said agents showed up without a search warrant.
The documents claim the search impacted “serious Sixth Amendment concerns” and the FBI violated Christensen’s rights against unlawful search and seizure.
Police said Christensen kidnapped University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign student Yingying Zhang in June of 2017, killed her and disposed of her body.
Zhang was last seen getting in to his car and was never seen again. Christensen could face the death penalty.