Defense asks for July 1 trial in Chinese scholar case

Brendt Christensen- 2017 Photo Macon County Illinois Sheriffs Office

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Attorneys for a man accused of kidnapping and killing a University of Illinois scholar from China say they could be ready for a trial to begin July 1.
A judge already denied a request from Brendt Christensen’s attorneys to delay proceedings until October, but said he would be open to a reasonable proposal. The trial was originally scheduled for September 2017.  Prosecutors are trying to prove Christensen kidnapped and killed 26-year-old Yingying Zhang in 2017.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Christensen’s attorneys said they needed more time to find a psychiatrist. Defense attorneys say they’ve found a new psychiatrist who could be prepared by July 1.  Prosecutors have until Friday to respond. A Monday hearing is scheduled to discuss the trial date.