Judge will rehear some evidence in Marni Yang conviction for killing former Bears star's girlfriend

Monday, November 13, 2023
Judge to hear request on new trial for Marni Yang
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Marni Yang, convicted in 2011 of killing Rhoni Reuter, the longtime girlfriend of Chicago Bears star Shaun Gayle, is requesting a new trial.

LAKE COUNTY, Ill. (WLS) -- Marni Yang, convicted in 2011 of killing the longtime girlfriend of Chicago Bears star Shaun Gayle Is requesting a new trial.

She hoped for a favorable ruling that would give her some hope of being released from prison at some point when she appeared in court in Lake County, Illinois for a judge to hear that request.

RELATED: Marni Yang explains why she allegedly gave false murder confession in prison interview

Yang was convicted in 2011 of killing Rhoni Reuter and her unborn child. Reuter was the longtime girlfriend of former Chicago Bears star Shaun Gayle.

In 2007, Reuter was shot to death at her Deerfield home.

Prosecutors argued Yang was in a jealous rage. But her attorneys say there is new evidence and they claim Yang's confession was coerced.

RELATED | Marni Yang's lawyers call for Rhoni Reuter murder investigation to reopen, citing new video of Shaun Gayle

"The more I examine this case, the more I'm convinced of her innocence," said her attorney Jed Stone.

Judge Christopher Stride agreed to allow a rehearing on several pieces of evidence, but he set another hearing in two months to determine whether the court will reconsider some of the forensic evidence and Yang's recorded confession to a friend. Her defense team claims the confession was coerced and the forensic evidence clearly shows she is innocent. However, prosecutor Jason Humke said there is overwhelming evidence that Yang is guilty and there's no reason for a new hearing.

RELATED | Marni Yang's attorney says injuries on Rhoni Reuter's body prove she's innocent

Yang's father and two children were in court as well, and the judge allowed them to meet briefly after the hearing.

"I felt good. Everything is coming out now, it's like a breath of fresh air at the same time," said Andrew Yang, son.

Yang's attorney said while he's glad for a new hearing on several issues he has raised suggesting she is innocent, he hopes the judge will allow arguments on the forensic evidence like fingerprints. He said that will prove Yang could not have committed the murder.

"They're going to say science proves she could not have committed this crime and the evidence points to another suspect," Stone said.

The judge set the next hearing for late January to announce his decision about whether to reconsider Yang's confession and the forensic evidence.