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Defense in Christensen murder trial says his taped confession can’t be trusted

After gruesome details and a confession were presented as evidence on Friday, Brendt Christensen’s defense team responded on Monday.

They questioned FBI special agents about the reliability of his comments in which he admitted to killing 26-year-old Chinese student Yinying Zhang. He gave details about how he did it and how she died and then confessed to having 12 other victims.

The defense asked  FBI investigators if they had any shred of evidence that linked Christensen to any other deaths, and they said “no.”

The prosecution then presented digital evidence from Christensen’s computer and phone that showed his browsing history, text messages, deleted history, and Google searches. He searched the terms ‘Serial Killers’, ‘Abduction 101’, and ‘Serial killers by number of victims.”

Investigators also detailed his involvement in an online fetish community ‘Fetlife.com.’ On that site Christensen reached out to another user about an ‘Abduction fantasy’ in which he planned to kidnap her from her home, put her in a large duffel bag, take her to an undisclosed location, and perform sexual acts on her. He did discuss signing an agreement with the other user, who appeared to be into it.

Then the prosecution showed video from Christensen’s initial interrogation where the detectives asked him why they see him on surveillance tape with Yingying Zhang getting in his black Saturn Astra. Christensen pauses without responding for about 20 seconds.. that’s when f-b-i interrogators say they noticed a change in his breathing. He was trembling, almost as if he was hyperventilating.

Finally today– state police investigators walked the jury through the Christensen’s apartment where they tested for blood on a baseball bat and stained mattress.

The jury trial continues Tuesday morning in the Federal Courthouse in Peoria.

Kyle Beachy

Kyle Beachy is a Multimedia Journalist for 25 News and Heart of Illinois. Born and raised in Kokomo, Indiana, he attended Indiana Wesleyan University where he studied Education and played baseball. He comes to us from Columbus, Ohio where he received a Master’s Degree from The Ohio State University.

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