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Judge OKs streaming video of trial in Chinese scholar death

This undated file photo provided by the University of Illinois Police Department shows Yingying Zhang. Lawyers for Brendt Christensen, an ex-University of Illinois student accused of killing Zhang say school counselors didn't offer him adequate care when he sought help for homicidal thoughts months before Zhang went missing. In a filing unsealed this week, Christensen's attorneys said he told campus counselors he'd been "ruminating" about committing murder but that his treatment by counselors had been substandard. Prosecutors say that claim would be inaccurate and irrelevant. A Tuesday, April 9, 2019, statement from the Champaign-based school says counseling center staff are trained to provide care "consistent with the best practices in mental health care nationally." (Courtesy of the University of Illinois Police Department via AP File)

URBANA, Ill. — Video of the trial of a former University of Illinois student accused of killing a Chinese scholar will be streamed from a federal courthouse to a viewing room near campus.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports U.S. District Judge James Shadid on Tuesday approved the request “to accommodate members of the public and the victim’s family.”

The closed-circuit video will stream from the trial in Peoria to a viewing room at the Urbana courthouse, about 90 miles (144 kilometres) away.

Brendt Christensen’s trial is scheduled to begin June 3. He is accused of luring Yingying Zhang into his car before torturing and killing her in June 2017. Her body hasn’t been found.

Her family’s Urbana-based attorney, Steve Beckett, says the family is planning to return to Illinois from China for the trial.


Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

The Associated Press