Reports: Woman convicted of killing ex-Bear's pregnant girlfriend wants new trial

  • Marni Yang

    Marni Yang

  • Rhoni Reuter

    Rhoni Reuter

  • Former Chicago Bears player Shaun Gayle discusses the guilty verdict after the Marni Yang trial in the murder of Rhoni Reuter in 2011 at the Lake County courthouse in Waukegan.

    Former Chicago Bears player Shaun Gayle discusses the guilty verdict after the Marni Yang trial in the murder of Rhoni Reuter in 2011 at the Lake County courthouse in Waukegan. daily herald file photo

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 10/2/2019 7:19 AM

The new lawyer for Marni Yang, convicted in 2011 of killing the pregnant girlfriend of former Chicago Bear Shaun Gayle in the girlfriend's Deerfield home, on Tuesday filed a petition for a retrial, as he had promised in March.

Jed Stone is using a wiretap before Yang's conviction to build his argument that she did not kill Rohni Reuter on Oct. 4, 2007, CBS 2 Chicago and the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In one recording, Yang is heard saying, "All right, we'll start making (things) up," according to CBS 2. Stone claims Yang did start making things up to protect her teenage son -- fearing he would be charged with Reuter's murder and thinking her defense attorneys would clear things up.

Stone told the Tribune that it's a recording that prosecutors didn't play, jurors never heard, and the defense never knew about.

The claims are laid out in a 29-page petition filed Tuesday. It claims Yang is innocent of shooting Reuter and points to new evidence -- including male DNA found on unspent rounds at the scene and the misidentification of the rental car that Yang was said to have used and that was part of the evidence against her in trial.

It also alleges Lake County prosecutors hid and failed to turn over evidence, CBS 2 reports.

The Tribune also reports that Yang's daughter, Emily, said her statement and testimony in the case was false.

Stone told the Daily Herald in March that "we think we've uncovered substantial evidence of actual innocence."

In the initial investigation of the shooting, there was circumstantial evidence pointing to Yang, but police said one piece of evidence sealed it for them. Two conversations between Yang and a friend were secretly recorded, and in the tapes, Yang can be heard describing the incident.

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"I think she's innocent despite the tape-recorded statement," Stone said in March. "I think the full story was never told with regards to that statement."

Yang is serving two life sentences in Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln for the shooting death of Reuter, 42, and her unborn child.

In her initial trial, prosecutors said Yang was obsessed with Gayle and killed Reuter in hopes of strengthening a relationship with him.

An appeals court denied Yang's 2013 bid for a new trial. In 2014, a Lake County judge granted Stone's request for new DNA tests on bullet shell casings.

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