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McKee trial: Massaro’s father goes back to sleep, may have been woken by killings

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014 11:02 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014 11:05 p.m. CDT
Bethany McKee, of Shorewood. She is on trial this week, charged with first-degree murder in the Jan. 10, 2013, deaths of two men in Joliet.

JOLIET – Alisa Massaro’s father was sleeping on the couch in his Hickory Street house in January 2013 when he heard noise upstairs.

“It sounded like somebody was wrestling or something. I yelled up through the ceiling, ‘Keep it down up there,’ ” Phil Massaro testified Wednesday.

Prosecutors say the “wrestling” was Terrence Rankins and Eric Glover being strangled to death Jan. 10, 2013, by Joshua Miner and Adam Landerman. Authorities allege the two arranged with Alisa Massaro and Bethany McKee to lure the victims to Alisa’s upstairs apartment and rob them.

Bethany McKee is charged with murder for her alleged role in the slayings and is on trial this week.

Alisa Massaro pleaded guilty to lesser charges and agreed to testify against the others. She is expected to testify Thursday.

Phil Massaro said McKee and his daughter came downstairs right after the noises began and his daughter said a TV had fallen off the dresser.

“I asked who was up there and [Alisa] said ‘Two dudes,’ ” he testified. There was no further conversation.

The noises stopped soon after and Phil Massaro went back to sleep on the couch. He left for work the next morning without going upstairs.

Phil Massaro, who no longer lives in the Hickory Street residence, told Judge Gerald Kinney he didn’t know anything was amiss until he returned home that evening to find it blocked by police.

Defense attorney Neil Patel asked Massaro if his daughter was bipolar, which brought an immediate objection from Assistant Will County State’s Attorney Dan Walsh. Kinney agreed the question was inappropriate, and Alisa’s father was dismissed.

Kankakee police Sgt. Timothy Klopp testified he pulled McKee over as she arrived in Kankakee on Route 113 on the evening the bodies were discovered. Joliet Detective Shawn Filipiak testified about collecting a bottle of cold medicine from a bedroom in the apartment.

Joliet Detective James Hargrow was asked by Assistant Will County State’s Attorney Tricia McKenna about a pair of baby shoes, a stuffed white bunny rabbit and a stuffed Minnie Mouse he collected from the apartment where the slayings occurred.

To have them admitted as evidence, McKenna asked Hargrow questions about the stuffed animals that seemed very formal for children’s toys. Prosecutors want to show in addition to taking cash from Rankins’ pockets, the defendants took items belonging to Glover’s 2-year-old daughter from his car.

Along with the alleged stranglers, McKee is charged with murder for allegedly participating in the robbery that led to the victims’ deaths.

State police crime lab technician Jamie Edwards testified McKee left a fingerprint on a tequila bottle that was taken from Massaro’s apartment. Under cross-examination by Patel, Edwards said none of the 31 fingerprints found on the plastic garbage bags under Rankins’ body were matched to McKee.

The garbage bags had been attached with 33 pieces of black electrical tape and have 39 fingerprints on them, Edwards said. Thirty-five of those prints do not match McKee, and additional testing has not been done on the four remaining fingerprints to match or rule them out.

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