More than three years after the murder of Rhoni Reuter, and more than two years after Marni Yang was charged with the killing, Yang's lawyers rested their defense in less than 30 minutes today.
The defense rested after Yang told the judge that she did not wish to testify on her own behalf.
Lawyers for Yang, charged in the October 2007 shooting death in Deerfield of Reuter and her unborn child, called only three witnesses to the stand. They included Yang's mother, Francine Merar, who testified about Yang storing guns in Merar's home.
The jury has been sent home for the day and is due to hear closing arguments on Tuesday.
Prosecutors rested their case earlier Monday with the testimony of victim Rhoni Reuter's younger brother.
Earlier, the pathologist who conducted the autopsy Reuter described how she apparently tried to shield the fetus she was carrying from the bullets that were striking her.
Yang is on trial for murder of Reuter and homicide of a fetus in the Oct. 4, 2007, shooting. Prosecutors say she was jealous of Reuter because she was carrying ex-Bear Shaun Gayle’s baby. Montez said the baby girl’s gestation was six to seven months and died because she herself was also shot, not because her mother was shot.
As the prosecution's last witness, Thad Reuter, 41, of Platteville, Wis., said he last saw his older sister during a spring break trip in March 2007, when he brought his family to her Deerfield condominium for a visit.
Thad Reuter said that while he wasn't able to see his sister frequently, they did talk often by phone.
"We tried to make is a habit of talking every Sunday to catch up on things," he said, adding that the last time he talked to his sister was on the Sunday before her slaying.
"We talked a little bit about how the baby was kicking," he said.
Earlier, forensic pathologist Dr. Manny Montez testified that of the six bullets that struck Reuter, one was a defensive wound to her wrist as she sought to protect the fetus she was carrying.dd Yang.
Montez, also said that although Reuter would have bled to death from the other wounds, it was a gunshot to the back to her head that fractured her skull and nearly severed her brain stem that proved fatal.
Jurors watched intently but stoically as grisly autopsy photographs were shown in court. Yang sat emotionless and stared straight ahead toward the screen on which the photos were displayed.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun