Day 6: The Jury Hears from Christensen’s Mother

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Monday afternoon, the mother and sister of convicted murderer Brendt Christensen testified in an effort to persuade a jury not to sentence him to death for the kidnapping and murder of Yingying Zhang.

It was another emotional day in court. Christensen’s mother teared up as the defense played video from Brendt’s childhood. Jurors saw clips of a younger Brendt playing the piano and opening gifts on Christmas morning.

Ellen Williams called her son’s actions horrible, adding that she thought of the Zhang family five times a day. Christensen choked up when his mother said a death sentence would be devastating.

His younger sister, Andrea, also took the stand. She told the jury that Brendt was her role model when they were kids. She said she would never stop supporting Brendt no matter what he was convicted of.

Finally, the defense moved to introduce a study which argues alcoholism and mental disorders are genetically passed down. The prosecution called this another attempt to introduce expert testimony without their prior knowledge. The judge said the defense doesn’t need a study to make their argument…asking them to use testimony already heard in court.

The defense is expected to rest Tuesday morning, followed by rebuttal by from the prosecution.

Andy Weber

Andy Weber

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