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Woman convicted of killing girlfriend of ex-Bear Shaun Gayle says new evidence shows she wasn’t shooter

Marni Yang claims she didn’t pull the trigger in Rhoni Reuter’s murder. Yang is hoping the new evidence will show someone else committed the 2007 crime.

Illinois Department of Corrections photo of Marni Yang.
Illinois Department of Corrections photo of Marni Yang.
AP

An attorney representing the woman convicted of killing the pregnant girlfriend of former Chicago Bear Shaun Gayle is hoping new evidence will show someone else committed the 2007 murder.

Bruises on the face of Rhoni Reuter were already two to four days old at the time she was shot inside her condo in Deerfield, Marni Yang’s lawyer said Tuesday, citing the findings of Dr. Cyril Wecht, a forensic pathologist who re-examined evidence in the case.

Yang, who Lake County prosecutors said also had a romantic relationship with Gayle and killed Reuter out of jealousy, was found guilty of the crime and is currently serving two life sentences.

Yang’s attorney, Jed Stone, shared Wecht’s findings with the Lake County state’s attorney’s office and Lake County Judge Christopher Stride Monday as part of a post-conviction petition seeking a new trial and for authorities to re-investigate the case.

Stone noted that when Gayle’s hands were tested by the Illinois State Police for gun powder residue, a trooper noted in writing that there were abrasions on his hands.

“I don’t know exactly what that means, but I’m hopeful that the state will continue to investigate this case with it’s full authority,” Stone said during a hearing Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Lake County state’s attorney’s office declined to comment.

“Someone killed this woman and we want the state to find that person and I want to walk Marni out of the hell of Logan Correctional Center,” Stone said of the state prison where Yang is serving her sentence.

Stone filed the post-conviction petition in late 2019. The pace of court proceedings have been hampered by the pandemic.

Stone has also claimed that forensic science would show Yang was too short to have caused the bullet wound that killed Reuter and that police and prosecutors mishandled the case.

Gayle played on the Bears’ 1985 Super Bowl champion team.

Police dismissed Gayle as a suspect early in the murder investigation. He said he was at a North Chicago barber shop the morning Reuter was killed.

Stone has also sought to poke holes Gayle’s alibi.

A message sent to Donna Rotunno, an attorney who represented Gayle, was not immediately returned.

The next hearing on Yang’s post-conviction case is scheduled for July.