After three days of jury selection, 12 Lake County residents were chosen to weigh the guilt or innocence of accused murderer Marni Yang.
Yang allegedly shot and killed Rhoni Reuter at her Deerfield condo in 2007. At the time, Reuter was pregnant with former Bears player Shaun Gayle’s child. Yang is charged with first-degree murder and intentional homicide of an unborn child.
The jury picked to determine Yang’s fate is comprised of nine men and three women including a Deerfield research scientist and a Highland Park CPA. The Deerfield resident, originally from Detroit, currently works as a senior scientist at Abbott. The Highland Park mother of two is employed by Illinois Tool Works.
Friday lawyers are scheduled to select three alternate jurors. Judge Christopher Stride also said Thursday that he expects to “get to opening statements and evidence sometime tomorrow [Friday].”
During proceedings on Thursday defendant Marni Yang sat between her lawyers. Besides talking privately to them and a court officer nearby, the only words she spoke in court were “good afternoon ladies and gentleman” when introducing herself to a group of potential alternate jurors.
According to Stride “the duty of an alternate juror is identical to a fixed juror.” However, when it comes time to deliberate on a verdict, alternate jurors will not participate in the discussion unless a fixed juror needs to be replaced.
Stride also informed potential alternate jurors Thursday about the trial’s time commitment. “I just wanted to let you know that service on this jury may take up to two weeks,” he said. “There’s always a possibility we could go longer,” he added later.
The Lake County judge also identified a long list of possible witnesses that included several Deerfield residents and law enforcement officers as well as Shaun Gayle and at least two other former Bears players.
Trial proceedings will resume at 9 a.m. on Friday. For more details on the jury selection process click here.