A Lake County judge on Friday threw out statements made by the woman accused of killing ex-Bear Shaun Gayle’s girlfriend and their unborn child.
Lake County Associate Judge Christopher Stride granted a motion to suppress statements made during the 72 hours police questioned Marni Yang, 42, in the fatal shooting of Rhoni Reuter.
Stride agreed with Yang’s attorneys that police did not properly advise Yang of her rights and did not make it clear that Yang could have left during the three days of questioning that started Jan. 4, 2008.
Friday’s ruling, though, doesn’t affect wiretap recordings police obtained months later in which authorities said Yang talked with a friend about the killings.
Yang, who remains in jail, is scheduled to stand trial starting Feb. 28 on charges of first-degree murder and intentional homicide of an unborn child. Reuter was slain in her Deerfield home Oct. 4, 2007. Prosecutors allege Yang shot her in a jealous rage.
Yang’s attorneys maintained she was denied her right to an attorney during the interrogation, despite invoking her rights on more than one occasion. While shedid not confess to shooting Reuter, she did make some incriminating statements.
Even though Yang was not arrested or charged with any crimes during the interrogation, the hearing questioned whether Yang was free to leave police custody. Police shuttled her among multiple stations during the three days and kept her in different police stations overnight.
“A reasonable person in Ms. Yang’s place would not have felt free to leave,” Stride said.