Attorney in missing UI scholar case on 'Penny'

Attorney in missing UI scholar case on 'Penny'

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URBANA — Less than two weeks before their client's next scheduled hearing in federal court, Brendt Christensen's attorneys are poring over more than 1,000 pages of reports from various law-enforcement agencies connected to the government's kidnapping case against the former University of Illinois graduate student.

It's been 68 days since visiting Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang was last seen.

Ahead of Wednesday's appearance on "A Penny for Your Thoughts," Tom Bruno, head of the Urbana family law firm representing the 28-year-old man accused of kidnapping Ms. Zhang, said the government's first batch of discovery arrived Friday afternoon.

And, "we understand the government's evidence will also include several terabytes of video collected from various sources," Bruno said.

"We intend to thoroughly and methodically review all the evidence. We are going to check the FBI's work. We need to know all we can about the government's evidence, and (this) marks the beginning of that process."

Asked about the status and scope of the search for Ms. Zhang, whom the FBI presumes is dead, U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman Sharon Paul said no new detail could be provided: "The investigation remains active and ongoing."

Christensen, who pleaded not guilty to the kidnapping charge July 20, is being held without bail at the Macon County Jail.

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GeneralLeePeeved wrote on August 16, 2017 at 5:08 am

Unless Bruno is a regular on this show, his appearance serves no purpose but to draw attention to the case.  Any future argument by the Brunos about the need for a change of venue would hold little water.

annabellissimo wrote on August 16, 2017 at 11:08 am

What is so difficult to understand is why there is no further information about Ms.Zhang's whereabouts. It has been very distressing to even think about, even just as a reader who has followed the case, and one can only imagine that it must just be unbearable for her family. It's just such a hearbreaking story.

Thewatcher wrote on August 16, 2017 at 5:08 pm

It's not difficult at all to understand. It's still an ongoing investigation, so they need to not release too much information and possibly interfere with their efforts.  Even the smallest of detail could cause problems and ruin what work they've done. 

Bra adamant wrote on August 17, 2017 at 7:08 am

Another thing sometimes done by "murder suspects" is they withhold the location of the body in exchange for no death penalty.
I'm not accusing anyone of anything. The powers that be have told us they have the right person. A trial will bear that out, or not.