At a scheduling hearing in a federal courthouse of Illinois state, US District Court Judge Colin Bruce set the trial for April 2, 2019. Neither the prosecutors nor the defense attorneys objected the new schedule.
28-year-old Christensen is charged with kidnapping resulting in death of visiting Chinese scholar Zhang Yingying at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) on June 9, 2017. He attended the hearing but did not speak at it.
On Jan. 19, the US government filed a notice of intent on the website of the Department of Justice to seek death penalty against Christensen. After that, both sides agreed that a delay to the trial previously scheduled for Feb. 27 would be necessary.