Prosecution rests case in Chinese scholar’s slaying trial

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Federal prosecutors have rested their case in the trial of a former University of Illinois student who could get the death penalty if convicted of killing a scholar from China.

Brendt Christensen’s lawyers called his ex-wife as a witness Friday. Michelle Zortman told jurors that Christensen showed her a blood stain on a mattress and claimed it was from a bloody nose.

The 29-year-old Christensen is accused of luring Yingying Zhang into his car in 2017 and killing her at his apartment. Prosecutors say she was raped, choked and stabbed. Her body hasn’t been found.

Christensen’s lawyers told jurors that he killed the 26-year-old Zhang, but they dispute some details about why he did it. They’re hoping they can persuade the jury to reject a death sentence if he’s convicted.

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