Yang doesn't testify in her defense

  • Marni Yang

    Marni Yang

Updated 3/14/2011 3:43 PM

Marni Yang did not testify in her own defense Monday in her trial for the murders of Rhoni Reuter and Reuter's unborn daughter.

Closing arguments in the case are expected Tuesday morning in Lake County Circuit Court, and the jury of nine men and three women will begin deliberating the case after they are instructed on the applicable law.


Yang, 43, is charged with first-degree murder and intentional homicide of an unborn child in the Oct. 4, 2007 slayings of Reuter and the baby in a Deerfield condominium.

Associate Judge Christopher Stride called Yang to the bench and asked her if she had discussed with her attorneys the possibility of testifying, and Yang replied that she had.

Stride then asked Yang if she wanted to testify, and Yang said softly "I do not."

Earlier in the seventh day of testimony in the trial, Dr. Manuel Montez testified he did autopsies on both bodies on the day of the shootings.

Reuter was struck by six bullets, Montez testified, two of which struck her daughter in the head and abdomen.

Either one of those bullets would have killed the baby, Montez said, while Reuter was killed by a gunshot wound to the head.

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Police say Yang killed Reuter and the baby because she was jealous of Reuter's relationship with former Chicago Bears safety Shaun Gayle, the father of the baby.

The defense called just three witnesses to the stand for their part of the trial.

Francine Merar, Yang's mother, testified her daughter brought a case full of guns to her house for storage in July 2007, three months before the shootings. A former neighbor of Reuter said she heard two loud noises like someone was crashing furniture against a wall on the morning of Oct. 4, 2007, but did not hear or see anything else unusual. Charles Schletz, a detective with the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, said Christi Paschen told him she had made up the stories she told Yang about her military service.

Paschen, a friend and psychic adviser of Yang, wore a concealed microphone to a pair of meetings with Yang and recorded Yang confessing to the killings. She testified earlier in the case she was recruited by the U.S. Army for secret missions involving her psychic powers and denied on the witness stand that she had fabricated the stories.