Silencer book, parts misunderstood by police, suspect says
Marni Yang told police who were questioning her about a pair of murders that she did buy a book of instructions on how to build a silencer for a firearm and some of the parts the book described.
But, she explains on a video recording of her 2008 interview with detectives that neither purchase was designed to further any act of violence.
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.
She spent three days in police custody in January 2008, but was released without being charged when she demanded an attorney.
Police eventually charged Yang with first-degree murder and intentional homicide of an unborn child in March 2009 after they said they secretly tape recorded her discussing the murders.
At the time of her arrest, police said Yang had purchased a book of instructions on building a disposable silencer for a weapon. The day after she received the book, police said, she purchased some of the parts called for at a local hardware store.
In a video of her interview with two detectives from the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force shown in court Tuesday, Yang admits both purchases.
But she claims she bought the book as a "gag gift" for the birthday of a friend, a Cook County sheriff's deputy who was a gun collector.
Yang explains she bought the parts in anticipation of making a school science project for one of her children on noise dispersion.
Neither purchase worked out well, Yang tells the detectives, because her friend thumbed briefly through the book and then threw it away.
"We never really built the silencer for the science project," she says on the video recording. "I wanted to use firecrackers to demonstrate it, but could not figure out how to do it without blowing someone's hand off."
During most of the rest of the recordings played in Associate Judge Christopher Stride's courtroom, Yang answers questions about her relationship with Gayle.
She responds that she was primarily a business partner of Gayle's in several real estate ventures, but also had an on-again, off-again sexual relationship with him.
Yang tells the detectives she and Gayle argued frequently about the indifference she believed he had toward their relationship and that he was dating several other women.
Police claim Yang murdered Reuter and the unborn baby because of her jealousy of Reuter's relationship with Gayle.
Testimony in the motion to bar any statements she made to police from being used against her at trial is scheduled to resume Oct. 7.