The chilling details of Marni Yang recounting how she killed Rhoni Reuter — captured on secret tape-recordings that led to her conviction — are being released to the public by police.
In the recorded conversations over two meals at a Lake County Denny's restaurant, Yang is heard telling a friend that she killed Reuter and threw the murder weapon in a bucket of cement that was resting under tons of trash at the dump.
The recordings were the bulletproof evidence prosecutors used to win a guilty verdict Tuesday against Yang, 43, Lake County State's Attorney Michael Waller said Thursday.
A jury convicted Yang on Tuesday of killing Reuter and her unborn child on Oct. 4, 2007. Prosecutors contended Yang killed Reuter out of jealousy over Reuter's relationship with ex-Chicago Bears safety Shaun Gayle, who fathered her child.
“The tapes were very significant in the case and completed the circle of the evidence for the jury and tied everything together,” Waller said. “We had significant circumstantial evidence in the case before we did the wire. But the recorded conversations of the defendant admitting the murder, as well as a recovered bracelet that the defendant had taken from Reuter, really tied everything together.”
He said Reuter was wearing a pregnancy bracelet on her wrist when she was shot in her Deerfield condominium. He said Yang took the bracelet as she left Reuter's doorway.
The recorded conversations between Yang and friend Christie Paschen were released to the Daily Herald by the Deerfield Police Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
The conversations occurred on March 1 and 2, 2010, and took place after Paschen agreed to help investigators by wearing a wire while discussing aspects of the murder with Yang.
Portions of the tapes obtained and released on dailyherald.com were edited due to sound quality and to remove profanity and conversations with wait staff.
In the first recording, Yang described in detail how she disposed of the murder weapon by putting it in a bucket of concrete and sent it to the dump. Then, she questioned Paschen on how close investigators were coming to breaking open the case, 18 months after Reuter was killed.
About five minutes into the second tape, Yang tells Paschen she shot Reuter after the woman opened the door and began screaming while Yang wore dark makeup, a wig, large sunglasses, and a hoodie.
“When ... when ... when she opened up the door, that's when I, that's when I brought out the gun,” Yang says on the tape. “And when she saw it she started screaming, and I just let her have it. I just let her have it.”
At the tape's 32-minute mark, Yang again described details of the shooting.
“And ... she started screaming. I took the first shot. I remember screaming. 'Cause at that point I realized we are now at the point of no return,” she said. “Any thoughts that we had about turning back, we gotta finish this now. And I just started emptying the clip.”
Marni Yang audio tapesCopyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.