According to prosecutors, Marni Yang made one “big mistake” when it came to her plan to murder 42-year-old Rhoni Reuter back in 2007: she told her best friend about it afterwards.
"I took the first shot," police secretly recorded Yang telling Christi Paschen after the murder at a restaurant in Arlington Heights. "I remember screaming cause at that point I realized we are now at the point of no return.'"
Last week a jury convicted Yang of first-degree murder and intentional homicide of an unborn child. Authorities say she brutally shot and killed Reuter at her Deerfield condo. At the time, Reuter was six-months pregnant with the child of former Bears player Shaun Gayle. Yang was also romantically involved with the Super Bowl winner.
Detectives got their big break in the investigation more then a year after the deadly shooting in March of 2009 when Yang’s best friend, Christi Paschen agreed to collaborate with them.
On March 2, 2009, police strapped a body wire on Paschen and instructed her to get Yang to disclose the details of the murder while dining at Denny’s.
"I took maybe one or two steps into the kitchen to finish the job," you hear Yang explain to Paschen. "All she was doing was screaming until she went down."
Patch has obtained that tape recording from the Deerfield Police Department. Click on the video above to hear what Yang admitted to Paschen that night. You can also follow along by reading a transcript provided by prosecutors below.
Yang was arrested shortly after the conversation was taped by police and was charged with the crime. The recording was played by the prosecution during the trial. After three weeks of court proceedings, the jury found Yang guilty on all counts. Her sentencing is scheduled for April 29. She faces a minimum sentence of life in prison.
Transcript of Marni Yang’s Conversation with Friend Christi Paschen On March 2, 2009:
Yang: Okay, not only that but think about this: if they had any evidence that tied you or I to the scene, it’s not going to take them a year to come up with it. They’ve collected all the evidence from the scene, they’ve had it all processed through this lab, that lab, whatever. If there was anything there it doesn’t take a year and a half to come back. It doesn’t.
Paschen: Well, okay. You said it was dark.
Yang: Mhm, it was dark. I didn’t touch anything. I took maybe two steps and I took ...
Paschen: What did you see?
Yang: All I saw was … everything was in shadows, the kitchen was dark. Okay? In fact, it was so dark I wasn’t even positive that I was making straight shots. Okay? Didn’t even, didn’t … she, she opened up the door and all she saw was a dark-skinned person with sunglasses holding a gun like this. With a hoodie on, okay? And … she started screaming. I took the first shot. I remember screaming. ‘Cause at that point I realized we are now at the point of no return. Okay? Any thoughts that we had about turning back – we gotta finish this now. And I just started emptying the clip. … She went, 'cause she had already started to come out of the apartment, she went backwards into the kitchen. Fell against the counter, fell against a counter, with the floor and it was all in shadows. It was all in shadows.
Paschen: Well how was it laid out?
Yang: The kitchen?
Yang: I never got far in there enough to see.
Yang: I never got far in there enough to see. Okay? Um … and don’t forget, I also, I had the dark glasses on. Um ... I took maybe one or two steps into the kitchen to finish the job. All she was doing was screaming until she went down, and then when she went down she took her foot and she took one good kick at me, got me in the shin. Um, it was like weak by that time so “Uh,” like that. And that was it. I just, I, took one last shot, in the head – finished her off. And I took off. Oh, I closed – I had gloves on – closed the door behind me. Her leg was sticking out into the hallway; I had to kick it inside. Then I slammed the door; took off. That was it.
Yang: Okay, back then … well that was back then.