AP NEWS

Sister of man who killed Chinese scholar: He was ‘gentle’

July 16, 2019 GMT
FILE - This file photo provided by the Macon County Sheriff's Office in Decatur, Ill., shows Brendt Christensen. Andrea Christensen, the sister of former University of Illinois student Brendt Christensen who is convicted of killing a Chinese scholar, told a jury, Monday, July 15, 2019, deciding whether he should be executed that he was a "very gentle person" who never raised his voice. (Macon County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
FILE - This file photo provided by the Macon County Sheriff's Office in Decatur, Ill., shows Brendt Christensen. Andrea Christensen, the sister of former University of Illinois student Brendt Christensen who is convicted of killing a Chinese scholar, told a jury, Monday, July 15, 2019, deciding whether he should be executed that he was a "very gentle person" who never raised his voice. (Macon County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The sister of a former University of Illinois student convicted of killing a Chinese scholar told a jury deciding whether he should be executed that he was a “very gentle person” who never raised his voice.

Andrea Christensen was the last witness that lawyers for Brendt Christensen called to the stand Monday. The defense plans to rest its case in the penalty phase on Tuesday.

Earlier Monday, Christensen’s mother, Ellen Williams, testified that the 2017 slaying of Yingying Zhang was “horrible” and she feels “bad.” But she said it would be devastating if her son receives the death penalty.

Christensen did not testify.

The federal jury that found him guilty last month now must decide his punishment.

Rebuttal witnesses will be called Tuesday. Closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday.