Questioning of murder suspect unconstitutional, defense claims

  • Marni Kay Yang

    Marni Kay Yang

Updated 1/31/2011 6:24 PM

Nothing murder suspect Marni Yang said to police after she had been in custody for about two hours should be used against her in court, one of her attorneys argued Monday.

Yang, 42, is charged with the Oct. 4, 2007 slayings of Rhoni Reuter and Reuter's unborn daughter, who had been fathered by former Chicago Bears safety Shaun Gayle.


Authorities say Yang fatally shot the 42-year-old Reuter in the victim's Deerfield home because she was jealous of her relationship with Gayle.

In the third day of testimony on a defense request to bar her statements from trial, Yang attorney William Hedrick said the interrogation was over before it even started.

Detectives from the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force took Yang into custody as she was leaving her Chicago apartment the morning of Jan. 4, 2008.

She was taken to the Round Lake Park police station and placed in an interview room equipped with video and voice recorders.

A video recording shows a detective entering the room about two hours later - before any formal questioning began - to ask Yang if she wanted anything to drink.

Yang replies that she wants police to give her cell phone to her so she can call her attorney.

"She clearly invoked her right (to remain silent) on the tape," Hedrick told Associate Judge Christopher Stride. "And any attempt to interview the defendant after that was unconstitutional."

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However, Yang was held two more days before police said she made it clear she would not answer any more questions without her attorney present. During that time she did speak with investigators, but did not confess to the slayings.

She eventually was arrested March 3, 2009, after police said they secretly recorded her discussing the murders with a friend.

Stride said Monday he would not grant Hedrick's motion until he had viewed all the recordings of her questioning, which prosecutors say total about 19 hours over the three days.

The recording of the second day of questioning begins with Yang telling a detective she paid an Internet company to provide her with background information on women who were involved with Gayle.

Yang tells the detective she was "trying to get a feel" for the other women in Gayle's life.

She explains she was motivated to do so because of unpleasant experiences she had with a woman her ex-husband was dating, and was trying to ensure Gayle would not be subjected to similar experiences.

Testimony is expected to continue Tuesday.