Friend: Yang spoke of plan to kill Gayle's girlfriend

March 10, 2011 3:17:06 PM PST
A friend -- and self-described psychic -- of murder suspect Marni Yang testified Thursday that Yang told her about the plan to kill Rhoni Reuter back in 2007.

That friend, Christi Paschen, also told the court that she went with Yang while the suspect disposed of evidence after Reuter's murder.

Prosecutors are calling this key testimony in the case. Audio tapes that prosecutors say captured Yang talking about the murder with her friend were also played in court Thursday. The victim, Reuter, was the pregnant girlfriend of former Chicago Bears player Shaun Gayle.

A self-described psychic and tarot card reader provided the prosecution what they say is key evidence in the trial of Marni Yang. Paschen was a friend of Yang's in 2007. That's when Yang allegedly killed Rhoni Reuter. Reuter was pregnant with Shaun Gayle's child. Yang also had a relationship with the former Bears player.

Paschen testified Thursday that Yang confided her plan to kill Reuter, who she nicknamed "Ms. Macy's." Reuter worked at the department store.

Paschen testified she tried to talk Yang out of it. Yang spent the night, but in the morning October 4, 2007, Yang was gone. Reuter was killed that morning.

Paschen testified going with Yang as she disposed of evidence, clothing and a license plate: "She grabbed a piece of plastic that had a license plate. She told me she stole the license plate...She lifted up the bin and had me throw it in."

Paschen described a scene in a dark parking lot when Yang may have buried something: "It looked like she had a spade or shovel in her hand. She had something else in the other hand...She dug for a couple of minutes and went back around to the back of the car.

"I was just watching her at this point. I was totally freaked out. I was frozen."

Eighteen months after the murder, Paschen agreed to where a wire for investigators. Jurors heard over two hours of recorded conversations -- much of the recordings unclear.

At one point, Paschen talks about being questioned by police and the investigators having evidence: "They seemed deadly serious. They seemed to have their ducks in a row." A voice believed to be Yang's responds: "If they had their ducks in a row, they would be at my doorstep."

Defense attorneys for Marni Yang have said Paschen is not credible and weaves tall tales.

In opening statements, defense attorney Bill Hedrick said of the recordings: "That was a festival of liars. No one in their right mind would engage in a serious conversation with Christi Paschen."

Defense attorneys are expected to cast doubt about Paschen's credibility before jurors and the state continue to call the witnesses.

The state is expected to rest on Monday and the jurors will decide the fate of Marni Yang next week.

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