CHICAGO (AP) — Lawyers for a former University of Illinois doctoral student convicted of killing a scholar from China says he offered after his arrest to divulge where her remains are in exchange for a life sentence.

The revelation came in a late Tuesday filing. Jurors convicted Brendt Christensen Monday of kidnapping Yingying Zhang in in 2017, raping and beating her to death with a bat. Her body was never found.

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Legal observers had expected Christensen to use the whereabouts of Zhang’s remains as a bargaining chip to get federal prosecutors to abandon any push for the death penalty. There was no word he tried until now.

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The filing asks the judge to bar statements at an upcoming sentencing phase suggesting Christensen refused to locate Zhang’s remains.

Prosecutors declined comment.

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