Woman convicted in ex-Chicago Bear Shaun Gayle girlfriend's death requests new trial

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The legal team for the woman convicted of murdering the pregnant girlfriend of former Chicago Bear Shaun Gayle is trying to get a new trial.

Marni Yang was convicted in 2011 and has already served eight years without the possibility for freedom for the murder of 42-year-old Rhoni Reuter and her unborn baby. The 2007 murder drew international attention at the time as prosecutors described Yang as a jealous girlfriend who killed her romantic rival.

Wednesday Yang's lawyer, Jed Stone, said there is substantial new evidence in her case which proves her innocence.

At her trial, prosecutors played a tape of Yang allegedly confessing to a friend that she killed Reuter, which her attorneys said was coerced.

"We're going to reverse this conviction to the right side of this," said Stone.

Yang's family has hired an attorney and a crew of experts to look at the evidence.

Those experts include a private investigator that claims the car seen in a surveillance camera leaving the scene could not have been Yang's and a former FBI expert who said the gunshots would have been fired by someone much taller than Yang. Yang's son has also said police threatened to charge him with the crime which prompted his mother to confess.

"I had nothing to do with the murder and neither did my mother," Yang's son Andrew said. "I don't think they cared. They just wanted a conviction."

Her attorney also said he has a secret recording prosecutors never played in which Yang tells a friend she made up the story.

Gayle was first interviewed after the murder but was later excluded as a suspect.

An appellate court has previously heard this case and upheld the conviction. Yang's attorney said this is a post-conviction petition, which is different than an appeal. He also said he is confident that Yang will eventually be freed from prison.

"Seeing my daughter in prison for a crime she didn't commit is incomprehensible," said Yang's father Larry Marar.

Yang has been sentenced to two life terms.

A spokesperson for the Lake County State's Attorney's Office said they are unable to comment on pending litigation.

We reached out to members of Reuter's family for their reaction and they say they don't know the details, but her mother did say she believes Yang will never be able to get out of prison.
Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.