The former Chicago Bears player, who so far has been questioned only by prosecutors, also described how he was questioned by Deerfield police for about 10 hours on the day in October 2007 that his pregnant girlfriend Rhoni Reuter was found shot to death in her condominium.
Gayle described how he met Reuter at a charity basketball game in Iowa in 1990 and had dated her on and off until her death, but not exclusively. He also outlined how he met Yang -– and pointed her out in the courtroom -– at a 2005 Bears fan convention in Chicago, where she was working with security personnel, escorting players to autograph signings.
Gayle said he had sex with Yang the night before Reuter was killed and that Yang left his Chicago home about 9:30 p.m. that night. Gayle said he’d had sex with Yang about two or three times over the course of a year. Yang is accused of shooting Reuter because she saw her as a rival for Gayle’s affections and was jealous that she was pregnant with Gayle’s baby.
Contrary to what defense attorneys have inferred, who have portrayed Gayle as unhappy about the pregnancy, Gayle testified that he had discussed baby names with Reuter and purchased a book for her on baby names during a trip he took to London.
During cross examination, Yang's attorneys focused their questions not on Gayle's relationship with Reuter or Yang but on another of his former girlfriends, Monika Kurowska.
Gayle had been granted an order of protection against Kurowska in 2006 after they broke up and a number of Gayle's girlfriends received letters and emails claiming Gayle was unfaithful to them.
Gayle said he believed at the time that the letters were from Kurowska, though his attorney and authorities have since said they believe Yang wrote those letters. One of the letters was found in Reuter's purse, which was found in her car after it was towed from her condo complex after her death, officials said.
Kurowska was questioned after the shooting but police have said she was quickly cleared as a suspect. Kurowska is on the witness list for the Yang trial and could not immediately be reached for comment.
From the witness stand today, Gayle also outlined how he learned about Reuter's death, saying he was getting a haircut in North Chicago when he first received a call from a TV news producer saying there was a rumor going around that someone he’d been involved with had been killed.
Gayle said he started receiving more calls -– including one from former Bears teammate Tom Thayer -– and attempted to call Reuter at least twice. He also called former teammate Emery Moorehead before calling Deerfield police, who confirmed to him that Reuter was dead. Gayle then drove to the police station, he said.
A judge ruled earlier this morning that former Gayle can be cross-examined about his sexual relationships with women, including Yang. Gayle can also be asked about his behavior on the morning of Oct. 4, 2007, the day Reuter was found shot to death in her Deerfield apartment.
Judge Christopher Stride said Gayle can be asked about claims that he was dating several women at the time of the murder and reportedly told a police officer that he wanted to get a blood test to see if the Reuter’s baby was his.
But Stride warned the defense that he might also allow the jury to hear a 911 call Gayle made to Deerfield police the morning of the murder in which he sobbed on being told of the shooting.
The tape of that call was played in court Monday but not in front of the jury. Stride had previously ruled the tape inadmissible.
Yang has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and intentional homicide of an unborn child.