Lawyers for man accused of murdering Zhang Yingying try to delay case
Lawyers for a man accused of kidnapping and killing Zhang Yingying, a University of Illinois student from China, have asked for a trial delay after prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty.
Brendt Christensen’s lawyers filed a motion Tuesday asking that a new trial schedule be discussed at a previously scheduled pretrial hearing, the Champaign News-Gazette reported.
Prosecutors have until February 2 to respond. The trial is expected to start February 27.
US prosecutors announced Friday that they would seek the death penalty for Christensen, the former physics student charged with kidnapping and killing 26-year-old Zhang.
Zhang disappeared last June and her body hasn’t been found. Prosecutors say she is dead.
Zhang’s disappearance prompted a massive search that drew international media attention, particularly from China.
Christensen has pleaded not guilty.