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Hickory Street trial update: Police say first thing they saw when entered home was one of the victims

Published: Monday, Aug. 4, 2014 11:51 a.m. CST • Updated: Monday, Aug. 4, 2014 6:01 p.m. CST
Caption
(Rob Winner – rwinner@shawmedia.com)
Eric Glover's mother Nicole Jones becomes emotional after speaking Monday morning to members of the media outside the Will County Courthouse in Joliet before the start of Bethany McKee's trial. Bethany McKee is charged with murder in the Jan. 10, 2013, deaths of Eric Glover and Terrence Rankins, both 22.

UPDATE AT 3:30 P.M. MONDAY

JOLIET – The first thing police saw when they opened the door to the Hickory Street apartment was one of the victims, officers testified Monday.

Officer Brian Lanton said the second-floor apartment in Alisa Massaro's house has a kitchenette at the door by the stairs, which he and Officer Bruce Trevillian opened on Jan. 10, 2013, to see "a pair of Air Jordans, soles up, on the feet of a body ... laying on the kitchenette floor."

Lanton testified during the trial of Bethany McKee, who is accused of murdering Terrence Rankins and Eric Glover, both 22, in Massaro's house.

Lanton testified the body had been set on black plastic garbage bags and a plastic shopping bag had been placed over the victim's head. Looking down the hall, the officers could see another victim laying on a bedroom floor, also with a plastic bag on his head.

"I then encountered an individual in the back bedroom sitting on a couch smoking a cigarette," Trevillian testified. When the officer ordered him to stand up and show his hands, Joshua Miner told him "he'd killed the guy in the kitchen and Adam [Landerman] killed the guy in the bedroom," Trevillian said.

Prosecutors have said McKee and Alisa Massaro lured the men to the 1100 block of North Hickory Street with plans to rob them of money and drugs. Landerman and Miner allegedly strangled the victims to death.

All four suspects were initially charged with murder, but Massaro agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges and testify against the others. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison for robbery and concealing a homicide.

Landerman and Miner are awaiting separate trials.

ORIGINAL POST AT 11:51 A.M. MONDAY

JOLIET – Bethany McKee's murder trial began Monday.

McKee is charged with murder in the Jan. 10, 2013, deaths of Eric Glover and Terrence Rankins, both 22. Prosecutors have said McKee and Alisa Massaro lured the men to Massaro’s house in the 1100 block of North Hickory Street with plans to rob them of money and drugs. Adam Landerman and Joshua Miner allegedly strangled the victims to death.

Assistant Will County State's Attorney Tricia McKenna said Monday that McKee "desperately needed money" after being kicked out of her parents house. McKee was living with Alisa Massaro in the 1100 block of North Hickory Street when they lured Terrence Rankins there. Rankins had purchased alcohol for the women and they'd seen he had "a large amount of cash," McKenna said.

Along with Joshua Miner and Adam Landerman they planned to jump Rankins.

Rankins arrived with his friend Eric Glover "expecting to party with" the two women, but at a pre-arranged signal between them, the women left the room and the men attacked the victims, McKenna said.

"Bethany saw and heard Terrence Rankins ask ... 'Why are you doing this to me?' and did nothing," McKenna told Judge Gerald Kinney.

The robbers allegedly got $120 they used for gas, cigarettes and cocaine.

Defense attorney Chuck Bretz said there is no physical evidence McKee was involved in killing Glover and Rankins and she was merely present at the scene of the crime.

"[McKee] could've been charged with obstructing justice or concealing a homicide," but did not aid in the fatal robbery, Bretz said.

The first witness was McKee's school friend Jennifer Ortega who was questioned for an hour about a Facebook conversation they had a week before the Jan. 10, 2013, slayings in which McKee wanted suggestions to get money.

All four suspects were initially charged with murder, but Massaro agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges and testify against the others. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison for robbery and concealing a homicide.

Landerman and Miner are awaiting separate trials.

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