It is being reported on July 20, 2017 that the man charged with kidnapping Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang was arraigned in federal court today. Brendt Christensen spoke briefly, entering a plea of “not guilty.”
In a statement after his client was arraigned, Urbana attorney Anthony Bruno said: “He’s demanded a jury trial and he plans to persist in his plea of not guilty.”
The judge also asked him if he was on medications and he confirmed that he was taking Klonopin. According to webmd.com: Klonopin or “Clonazepam is used to prevent and control seizures… It is also used to treat panic attacks. Clonazepam works by calming your brain and nerves.”
This was Brendt Christensen’s third court appearance since he was arrested on June 30th. Christensen will be back in court on August 28, 2017 to begin his pretrial hearing.
Meanwhile, the police are still searching for Yingying Zhang. The FBI has said that they do not believe she is still alive. Her family has vowed to stay in Illinois until she is returned to them. A reward for any information leading to her whereabouts has been raised to $50,000.