Tim Shelley / WCBU

The frustration and anxiety about a recent uptick in violent crime on the East Bluff was palpable during a policing update for the neighborhood on Monday.

Peoria County Jail

The Peoria Police Department arrested a man in connection with a shooting on the city's South Side early Monday morning.

Peoria Public Radio

One person is in the hospital in critical condition after shots rang out along Water Street early Saturday morning.

Jim Meadows / Illinois Public Media

If Brendt Christensen told his defense attorneys the truth, the remains of Yingying Zhang, the young woman he murdered two years ago, may be in a landfill near Danville.

Memorial Service Planned For Yingying Zhang

Aug 2, 2019
University of Illinois Police

Because her body has never been found, there has never been a funeral held for Yingying Zhang. But a memorial service for the visiting scholar from China has being planned, and will involve her family. The service is planned for Monday, August 5 at 1 PM at First Baptist Church at Savoy, 1602 S. Prospect Avenue in Savoy.


A central Illinois man pleaded guilty Monday for his role in the 2017 murder of his friend’s mother whose bloodied body was found near the Sugar Grove Nature Center.

Peoria Public Radio

A person said they were robbed at gunpoint near Bradley University late Monday evening and forced to drive the robber to South Peoria. 

The Bradley University Police Department said a man in his 20s approached the victim near Bradley and Duryea around 10 p.m. The man pulled a handgun, demanded the victim's property, and made the victim drive him to Peoria's South Side. 

The suspect was last seen at Madison Park Terrace and Wiswall. The victim was uninjured. 

The suspect was 5'3" and wearing a red shirt and black pants. 

An investigation is continuing. 

Killer Of Yingying Zhang Sentenced To Life In Prison

Jul 19, 2019
Tanya Koonce / Illinois Public Media

The man convicted of murdering University of Illinois visiting scholar Yingying Zhang will spend the rest of his life in federal prison “without release”. That was the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Jim Shadid Thursday, after a jury spent about nine hours deliberating before determining they could not reach a unanimous verdict on the death penalty for Brendt Christensen.

Macon County Jail

The jury is deliberating on the question of sentencing for the man convicted of the 2017 kidnapping and murder of University of Illinois visiting scholar Yingying Zhang. Jurors received Brendt Christensen’s capital case about 1:40 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

Creative Commons

Peoria police are investigating the year’s 14th homicide.

Tanya Koonce / Illinois Public Media

The sentencing phase of Brendt Christensen’s federal death penalty trial will go to the jury Wednesday. There’s only one question the jury at the federal courthouse in Peoria needs to answer, and that’s whether Christensen will receive the death penalty or life in prison, for the 2017 kidnapping murder of University of Illinois visiting scholar Yingying Zhang.

Tanya Koonce / Illinois Public Media

Brendt Christensen’s mother and sister say they still love him, even after learning he kidnapped and murdered U of I visiting scholar Yingying Zhang in 2017. Both family members testified Monday in the sentencing phase of Christensen’s federal trial in Peoria.

Creative Commons

A Bradley University sophomore and his brother both were killed Friday in what police believe was a murder-suicide committed by their mother.

Tanya Koonce / Illinois Public Media

The sentencing phase of the Brendt Christensen trial enters its fifth day Friday. Federal public defenders called eight witnesses Thursday in their effort to save him from the death penalty.

Local police will permanently have to report data on the race of people they pull over or search under a new law signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker.

Tanya Koonce / Illinois Public Media

The penalty phase of the trial of the man convicted of kidnapping and killing a University of Illinois visiting scholar is underway.

Prosecutors began making their case Monday that Brendt Christensen should be put to death for causing the death of Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang.

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

A bill currently awaiting Governor J.B. Pritzker’s signature would close a loophole in state law that allows some massage parlors to operate without state licensing. 

A judge has refused to lower bail for a teen charged with firing shots at an Illinois high school as seniors met for graduation rehearsal.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposal to reinstate the death penalty for certain violent crimes and other changes he made to gun legislation will get a House hearing. 

Man Killed in Peoria's First Homicide of 2018

Jan 11, 2018

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A Peoria man convicted of beating and severely burning  a 2-year-old girl by putting her into a scalding hot shower to punish her has been sentenced to 50 years in prison. 

One of the defense attorneys for former Governor Rod Blagojevich is running for Illinois attorney general.

July was another dangerous month in Chicago, with 74 homicides reported.

Peoria County Jail Records

A Peoria man, with a nearly decade long criminal history of violence against women and children, is being charged in the murder of his girlfriend.

Peoria County Man Sentenced for Possessing Child Porn

Jun 15, 2017
Peoria County Jail Records

A Peoria County man has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for receiving and possessing child pornography.

On Tuesday, a US District Judge ordered that 61-year-old Richard L Sills, of Mapleton, remain on supervised release for another 10 years, following his release from incarceration.


A news release from the Justice Department says a forensic examination of Sills’ home and computer turned up more than a thousand images and 73 videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Police in Springfield have reported a rising number of copper thefts with rising temperatures. 

Illinois senators have overwhelmingly approved a plan to make it harder for authorities to confiscate property from innocent owners.
The Senate endorsed the measure 56-0 Wednesday. It'll head to the House.
The plan would place the burden of proof on law enforcement when seizing a person's property in connection with a suspected crime. Current law allows authorities to confiscate property without even charging an owner for participating in illegal activity. The practice has been sharply criticized.

CHICAGO (AP) - A nonprofit organization says people living in poverty in Illinois are more likely to become violent crime victims than higher wage earners whether they live in cities, suburbs or rural areas. However, geographic disparities persist. 

Michael Puente / Periscope

Some top law enforcement officials in Chicago are weighing in on what they would want the federal government to do to quell the violence.

At a forum prior to Trump’s speech, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says he would welcome federal money for mental health programs and economic development. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says if funds are reduced for mental health programs, that would hurt efforts to stem the violence. In his speech to a joint session of Congress, President Trump said more than 4-thousand people were shot in Chicago last year.

Tony Webster / Flickr/Creative Commons

Peoria saw its first homicide of the new year Monday night.

The name of the deceased male has yet to be identified. The Peoria Police Department says officers responded to reports of a shooting near the 1800 block of North Sheridan Avenue. 

The PPD says when officers arrived around 8:00 pm, they found the male victim outside of a residence with an apparent gunshot wound.