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Gayle Set To Testify In Yang Trial

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Marni Yang, Rhoni Reuter

Marni Yang (left) was convicted of killing Rhoni Reuter (right) and her unborn child in 2007. Prosecutors said Yang killed Reuter, the girlfriend of former Chicago Bear Shaun Gayle, to eliminate her as a romantic rival. (Credit: Deerfield Police Department/CBS)

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UPDATED 03/07/11 1:30 p.m.

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) – Former Chicago Bear Shaun Gayle could testify this week in a murder trial in north suburban Lake County.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports, Gayle could take the witness stand Tuesday in the trial of Marni Yang, who is charged with the 2007 murder of Gayle’s pregnant girlfriend, Rhoni Reuter, in her Deerfield condo.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports

When the trial resumed Monday morning, Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Ari Fisz called up Lake County Sheriff’s evidence technician James Yenecek to the witness stand.

The prosecutor called on Yenecek to be able to enter a number of elements into the record as evidence, including shell casings and tiles with bullet damage.

Later Monday, prosecutors called Antioch police Officer John Laskowski, who works as an evidence technician with the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, and collected a picture of a prenatal ultrasound that was on Reuter’s refrigerator. Also testifying Monday was Bannockburn police Officer Robert Ogden, also of the task force, who conducted a search of Yang’s home.

Prosecutors say Reuter was shot several times, including having two shots aimed at her belly – and the unborn baby girl.

Prosecutors contend Yang was obsessed with Gayle and jealous of Reuter. In opening statements, the prosecutors said at one time, Yang was working as his realtor, sometimes she was his sexual partner.

When Yang found out that Gayle’s girlfriend Rhonie Rueter was pregnant that “was a game changer” for Yang, according to Assistant Lake County State’s Attorney Pat Fix.

After that, Yang started doing background checks on Gayle’s other girlfriends and used the website Mapquest to get Reuter’s address.

Prosecutors also have said Yang used an elaborate scheme to cover her tracks, including wearing a disguise, building a home-made silencer and using a throw-away cell phone while planning and carrying out the crime.

Prosecutors said she bought a book online on how to build a silencer and had it shipped overnight to her home. The next day, she bought parts to build a silencer to be fitted on a gun she inherited from her uncle.

But defense attorney William Hedrick said Yang had her own boyfriend at the time, and in spite of other potential suspects – the other girlfriends – police focused solely on Yang from the start. He said that the Lake County Major Crimes Task force was obsessed with Yang.

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