Judge OKs blood, DNA evidence in Chinese scholar's case

FILE - This photo provided by the Macon County Sheriff's Office in Decatur, Ill., shows Brendt Christensen. Prosecutors are building a case based partly on a bloody handprint and responses of a cadaver-sniffing dog that Christensen, a former University of Illinois student, killed a Chinese scholar in his apartment near campus. Prosecutors revealed more of their evidence in a series of public filings, on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, saying it will help prove to jurors that Christensen kidnapped, tortured and killed Yingying Zhang in 2017. (Macon County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

URBANA, Ill. — A federal judge has denied a request to exclude DNA and blood test results from the trial of a former University of Illinois physics student accused of killing a Chinese scholar in 2017.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that U.S. District Judge James Shadid ruled Monday that the evidence taken from Brendt Christensen's apartment in Urbana meets the threshold for admissibility.

Prosecutors are trying to prove Christensen kidnapped and killed 26-year-old Yingying Zhang.

The judge hasn't ruled on the admissibility of evidence stemming from an apartment search by a cadaver-sniffing canine.

The judge also denied a defense request to delay the April 1 trial until October to provide more time to prepare a mental-health expert.

Shadid says he's open to reasonable proposals but that October is "simply out of the question."

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