Former Bear testifies in Yang murder trial
Shaun Gayle testified Tuesday that he had a fairly complex relationship with Marni Yang.
According to witnesses who testified after Gayle at Yang's murder trial in Lake County, the former Chicago Bears safety didn't know the half of it.
Yang, 43, faces up to life in prison if convicted of the Oct. 4, 2007 murders of Rhoni Reuter, 42, and Reuter's unborn daughter in a Deerfield condominium.
Gayle, the father of Reuter's baby, said during his nearly two hours on the witness stand that his relationship with Yang was mostly professional and casually sexual.
Rather creepy as well, according to testimony from a former friend of Yang, a woman who once worked with Yang, and Emily Yang, the defendant's 20-year-old daughter.
Gayle testified he met Yang in 2005 and, after joining her in several real estate deals began having sex with her two or three times a year.
Gayle said his relationship with Reuter was an "on and off" affair that spanned 17 years and was accepted as nonexclusive by both parties.
Gayle said on the stand he believed Yang may have followed him to Mexico on a trip he took with Reuter. However, a former friend of Yang testified the defendant claimed to have also affected some of Gayle's other travel plans.
Julie Ann Fields said she and Yang met in 2006 when their sons were on the same Chicago youth league football team.
The two women had regular conversations for a few months, Fields said, and Yang usually found a way to bring up her relationship with Gayle.
Fields said Yang told her she knew Gayle was taking Reuter on a trip to London, and Yang had called a hotel there and canceled a reservation the two had made.
Gayle had testified he did travel to London in September 2007, well after Yang's conversation with Fields, and that he had gone alone.
Fields said Yang also mentioned she had access to Gayle's e-mail account and had found e-mails sent to Gayle by a woman who communicated in broken English.
Fields said Yang bragged she had sent e-mails to other women she believed Gayle was involved with in the same broken English style. Yang had said she succeeded in getting the woman, who really did communicate in that style, charged with a crime, Fields said.
Gayle had testified he obtained an order of protection against a former girlfriend, who he said spoke and wrote in broken English, when that woman would not stop harassing him after he ended their relationship.
The subject of Gayle's e-mail was also a topic with former co-worker Marguerite Zimmer, according to Zimmer's testimony.
Zimmer said she worked in sales with Yang at a Skokie company once owned by Yang's father.
Her daily conversations with Yang almost always included references to Gayle, Zimmer said, and Yang once mentioned she had stolen his computer passwords during a visit to Gayle's apartment in Chicago.
"She said when Gayle would go into the shower, she would take his passwords from his notebooks," Zimmer said. "I knew she was into his e-mails, because she would say 'Look at this, I can't believe he has this many women e-mailing him.'"
The final corroboration that Yang was looking into Gayle's computer correspondence came from Emily Yang, who lived with her mother in Chicago until Marni Yang's arrest in 2009.
Emily Yang said her mother told her she had access to Gayle's e-mail accounts and she had sent a letter to all the other women Gayle was dating "so that they could find out about each other."
Her testimony appeared to be in sync with Gayle's testimony that 18 women he knew had received a letter in late summer 2007 that contained all their addresses and phone numbers.
Police say they found a copy of the letter in Reuter's purse after she was killed. A copy of the letter and personal information, including addresses and phone numbers of the women it was sent to, was found in Yang's apartment in January 2008.