Sentencing continued Wednesday for convicted murderer Brendt Christensen. He is facing the death penalty for killing and kidnapping University of Illinois scholar Yingying Zhang.
Wednesday was the defense’s turn on the witness stand. We heard from Christensen’s family, friends, and a former teacher. The jury heard from Christensen’s family, friends, and a former teacher.
Testimony began with Michael Christensen, Brendt’s father. He talked about his family’s struggle with mental health and alcoholism. When ending his testimony, Michael apologized for the pain his son had caused. Both Michael and Brendt broke down crying.
Relatives and friends described Brendt as a well behaved, smart kid. But with each witness, the prosecution worked to separate Brendt the child from Brendt the murderer, questioning the impact others had on what Christensen did.
The Zhang family was not present for most of today’s testimony.
Proceedings resume tomorrow at 9am and when we will hear more testimony from the defense.