Brent Christensen

Peoria Public Radio

Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the man accused of kidnapping University of Illinois visiting scholar YingYing Zhang.

A public defender entered a “not guilty” plea Wednesday for Brendt Christensen, the 28-year-old man accused of kidnapping and killing Yingying Zhang. The brief arraignment hearing before Magistrate Judge Eric I. Long at the federal courthouse in Urbana came after an emotional outburst from Yingying’s mother.