A federal judge overseeing the case of a man accused in the 2017 kidnapping and killing of a University of Illinois scholar from China must rule soon on a defense motion to suppress evidence seized from the suspect's apartment.
The Champaign News-Gazette reports that Brendt Christensen's lawyers contend Christensen's then-wife, Michelle Christensen, never validly consented to a search.
That contradicts investigators at the apartment on June 14, 2017, two weeks before Brendt Christensen was charged in Yingying Zhang's death. They say they interviewed the wife, got her consent and then searched.
But the ex-wife, who since changed her last name to Zortman, told a Tuesday hearing agents searched during the interview. She asked how she could object to a search that had already been done.
Christensen's trial is set for April.