More Testimony In Yang Trial
Updated 03/09/11 – 5:24 p.m.
WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) — An ex-boyfriend and a forensic computer analyst testified Wednesday in the trial of Marni Yang, the woman charged with killing the pregnant girlfriend of former Chicago Bear Shaun Gayle.
Yang is charged with the 2007 murder of Rhoni Reuter in her Deerfield condo. Reuter’s unborn daughter was also killed.
On Wednesday, U.S. Homeland Security Department forensic computer analyst Kevin Gerlock testified that he examined the contents of Yang’s computer, and tried to get information from a damaged hard drive he obtained from Yang’s garbage.
He said that while he could not say how the hard drive was damaged, there was no information that was retrieved off of the drive.
Later, Yang’s former boyfriend, Cook County Sheriff’s Deputy Sal Devera, 40, took the witness stand. He said he met Yang at a bar where she was working, and they later began dating and entered a sexual relationship.
He said he knew Yang had known Gayle from having worked at the Chicago Hilton and Towers during a Bears event, and recalled that Gayle “took a liking to” Yang.
Devera also testified that Yang gave him a book on gun silencers for his birthday two weeks before Reuter’s murder.
Prosecutors asked what Devera thought of the gift.
“I was upset. I was working extra hours, giving her money to help with the bills and she gives me this present, which I found useless and had no interest in,” Devera said.
Wednesday afternoon, jurors heard from Peter Striupaitis, a forensic scientist and expert on firearm markings.
Striupaitis tested the four bullets retrieved from Reuter’s body and the bullets retrieved from the crime scene and determined they were shot from the same gun. The gun itself was never recovered.
Striupaitis also tested the seven shell casings and five live rounds found at the crime scene. He determined that they were shot from the same gun as well.
He determined that the shells, casings and bullets did not come from two guns retrieved from Gayle’s home. He also determined that they did not come from Devera’s gun.
Gayle’s and Devera’s guns were retrieved after police served search warrants.
Gayle testified that he had over a dozen sexual partners, but was also buying baby name books and looking forward to the birth of his child with Reuter, his longtime girlfriend.
Prosecutors have suggested Yang was obsessed with Gayle, hacked into his computer, located the names and emails of 17 girlfriends, and wrote them on an anonymous note to Reuter saying “I think you would like to know what your boyfriend Shaun is doing with a lot of other women.”
Yang came to focus her jealousy on Reuter upon finding out Reuter was pregnant, prosecutors have said.
Prosecutors also have said Yang used an elaborate scheme to cover her tracks during and after the murder, including wearing a disguise, building a home-made silencer and using a throw-away cell phone while planning and carrying out the crime.
CBS 2’s Maria Toscano contributed to this report.