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Brendt Christensen trial moved to Peoria

The trial of a man accused of killing a Chinese scholar will now take place in Peoria. 

Police say Brendt 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. 

The News-Gazette reported this week Christensen's trial was moved by the judge from Urbana to Peoria. Christensen's trial is scheduled to begin in April 2019.  

Judge James Shadid says the move is not due to widespread media coverage, rather because it would be easier for those involved in the case to be present in court and for other legal proceedings. 

Judge Shadid, who sits in Peoria, was assigned to the case after Judge Colin Bruce was removed. 

He was taken off the case after emails from a private conversation during an ongoing trial were found between Bruce and a former co-worker, current U.S. Attorney. 


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