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Judge to decide if wrongful conviction petition can move forward in Marni Yang murder case



CHICAGO — A judge will decide Tuesday if a wrongful conviction petition can move forward in the high-profile murder case of Marni Yang.

It has been almost nine years since Yang was sentenced to life without parole for murder. But in recent years, her attorneys have uncovered new evidence.

A judge could set the stage for a new trial on Tuesday.

Yang’s conviction came after a trial which portrayed her as a spurned girlfriend of former Chicago Bears player Shaun Gayle. Prosecutors claimed Yang was driven by jealousy in killing Rhoni Reuter, who was six-months pregnant with Gayle’s child.

In a news conference last month, Yang’s children and her attorneys insisted that evidence proves she did not commit the murder. They raised questions over the getaway vehicle, the trajectories of the bullets and the lack of DNA linked to Yang. They also claim Yang provided a false confession to protect her son, who was 16 at the time, and sick at home from school that day.

A longtime friend of victim Rhoni Reuter has also expressed doubt about Yang’s guilt. After meeting with Yang’s legal team, Michelle Ammentorp said she believes the actual killer is still out there, and that Yang was wrongfully convicted. Ammentorp was especially swayed by a ballistics report indicating that Yang was too short to have fired the fatal shots.

Lake County prosecutors have not issued any public responses to the new claims.

A judge will consider the petition for a new trial at a 9 a.m. hearing.