Children of woman convicted in murder of former Bear’s girlfriend speak out

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CHICAGO —The children of a woman convicted of killing a former Chicago Bear’s girlfriend tell WGN there is evidence proving their mother’s innocence.

Back in 2007, Marni Yang was sentenced to life without parole for the killing of Shaun Gayle’s girlfriend Rhoni Reuter, who was pregnant at the time. Her unborn child also died.

Now, Yang’s attorneys have petitioned for a new trial or new hearing on the evidence, and her children are proclaiming her innocence in their new book “My Mom Marni.” Emily, Brandon and Andrew Yang discussed the book on WGN Morning News Friday.

Emily told WGN that on the night of the incident, she and her siblings were taken straight from their beds into the police station questioning. They said the questioning broke them down until they signed the statements against their mother.

“Until you’re in a position where you’re questioned hours and hours on end, you don’t think that it can break you, but it does,” Emily said.

During the trial, prosecutors portrayed Yang as a jealous girlfriend, arguing that she murdered Reuter so she could have Gayle to herself.

A team of 10 legal and forensic experts now accuse Lake County investigators of ignoring evidence. For example, the trajectory of the bullet was too high for Yang’s height; DNA testing showed that only a man was at the scene ;and forensics contradict there being a silencer.

“They wanted to convict somebody,” Brandon said. “They wanted someone to blame, and the easiest person was my mom.”

The siblings also said their mother wrote her confession in order to protect her son Andrew, who said he had been home sick from school the morning of the shooting.

“It’s been a rollercoaster for us sticking together, but we pretty much are strong, sticking together,” Emily said.

You can meet Andrew, Emily and Brandon this Saturday for a book signing at the Barnes and Noble on Waukegan Road in Deerfield from noon to 2 p.m.

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