PEORIA (U.S.), July 18, 2019 (Xinhua) -- Steve Beckett, an attorney representing Zhang's family, heads to a federal courthouse building in Peoria, Illinois, the United States, on July 18, 2019. Brendt Christensen, the kidnapper and killer of Chinese scholar Zhang Yingying in 2017, was sentenced on Thursday to life imprisonment without possibility of release, Judge James Shadid announced the verdict in a federal court of Peoria in the U.S. state of Illinois, after the jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on whether he should be sentenced to death or life in prison.

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PEORIA (U.S.), July 18, 2019 (Xinhua) -- Brendt Christensen's father Michael Christensen heads to a federal courthouse building in Peoria, Illinois, the United States, on July 18, 2019.

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PEORIA (U.S.), July 18, 2019 (Xinhua) -- Robert Tucker, defense attorney for Brendt Christensen, heads to a federal courthouse building in Peoria, Illinois, the United States, on July 18, 2019.

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PEORIA (U.S.), July 18, 2019 (Xinhua) -- Family members of Chinese scholar Zhang Yingying head to a federal courthouse building in Peoria, Illinois, the United States, on July 18, 2019.

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PEORIA (U.S.), July 18, 2019 (Xinhua) -- Photo taken on July 18, 2019 shows a federal courthouse building in Peoria, Illinois, the United States.

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Zhang Yingying's father (R) speaks at a press conference after sentencing in Peoria, Illinois, the United States, July 18, 2019.

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Zhang Yingying's mother (C) and father (1st R) attend a press conference after sentencing in Peoria, Illinois, the United States, July 18, 2019.

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