Yang appears in court as part of retrial effort

Marni Yang appeared in a Lake County courtroom Monday for the first time in more than 12 years as part of her effort to secure a new trial.

It was also the first time Yang had left the downstate prison where she's been confined since being convicted of first-degree murder in 2011 in the death of Rhoni Reuter and her unborn child.

Yang, 55, silently watched her attorney Jed Stone and Assistant State's Attorney Jason Humke argue over which pieces of evidence Judge Christopher Stride should allow to be part of a new trial if one is granted.

Stride ordered both sides to return Jan. 22 for his ruling.

Yang is serving two life sentences for the murder of Reuter, the girlfriend of former Chicago Bear Shaun Gayle, who was pregnant with their child. Authorities say Yang, 52, was obsessed with Gayle and killed Reuter in her Deerfield home, in hopes of having a relationship with the football star.

Yang's attorneys have been seeking a new trial for just over four years, arguing a re-examination of evidence from the crime scene shows Yang could not have committed the crime. They say Yang admitted to the crime only to take the heat off her then-16-year-old son, whom she believed was being pressured by police to confess.

After the hearing Monday, Stride permitted Yang to speak briefly with members of her family who were in the courtroom. The judge instructed Yang not to hug any of them because the rules do not permit any physical contact.

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