Yang's lawyers question Shaun Gayle's alibi, seek new murder probe

Defense questions alibi of ex-Bear Shaun Gayle

  • Marni Yang

    Marni Yang

  • Former Chicago Bears player Shaun Gayle was cleared by police during their investigation of the death of his girlfriend Rhoni Reuter in 2007. But attorneys for Marni Yang, who was found guilty, are questioning Gayle's alibi and seeking a new investigation.

    Former Chicago Bears player Shaun Gayle was cleared by police during their investigation of the death of his girlfriend Rhoni Reuter in 2007. But attorneys for Marni Yang, who was found guilty, are questioning Gayle's alibi and seeking a new investigation. Daily Herald File Photo, 2011

 
 
Updated 11/10/2020 7:08 PM

The defense team for Marni Yang, who is serving two life sentences for the 2007 slaying of former Chicago Bear Shaun Gayle's pregnant girlfriend, asked the Lake County state's attorney on Tuesday to reopen the murder investigation.

Yang attorney Jed Stone filed a court motion seeking a re-examination of the Oct. 4, 2007, murder of Rhoni Reuter at her Deerfield home. At the heart of the request is the defense team's recent analysis of surveillance video showing Gayle at a North Chicago barbershop later that day than originally was suggested.

 

The tape, shown to the media during a virtual news conference Tuesday, shows Gayle arriving at LeRoy's Barbershop at 10:32 a.m. and leaving at 10:57 a.m., according to the video time stamp. A Deerfield police detective told a grand jury in March 2009 that Gayle was at the barbershop between 8:30 and 9 a.m.

Authorities said Reuter was fatally shot just before 8 a.m.

"It's not for me to prove an alternate suspect," Stone said. "It's for me to provide the state with the evidence that we uncover as we uncover it and seek justice, and it is their function to do the investigation."

Stone maintained that Yang would be exonerated and that "an investigation into others must be conducted fairly and fully."

Donna Rotunno, Gayle's attorney, declined to comment Tuesday.

Lee Filas, a spokesman for Lake County state's attorney Michael Nerheim, also declined to comment due to the pending litigation but pointed to Nerheim's 184-page motion filed in February to dismiss Yang's post-conviction petition.

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In that filing, prosecutors wrote that Gayle cooperated with police investigators immediately after learning of Reuter's death and was able to provide a timeline of his activities. It calls the claims leveled against Gayle "salacious."

Authorities say Yang, 52, was obsessed with Gayle and killed Reuter in hopes of having a relationship with the football star. She was found guilty in 2011.

Yang's attorneys have been pushing for a new trial for a little more than a year, arguing that a re-examination of evidence from the crime scene shows an unknown man was involved. 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.

In a separate discovery motion filed this week, Stone is seeking more information related to police wiretap recordings in which he says Yang tells her parents she planned to make up the confession.

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