JOLIET – Alisa Massaro testified Thursday she heard Joshua Miner saying "Die ... die" from the room where Terrence Rankins and Eric Glover were killed.
Massaro and Bethany McKee were with the four men on the night of Jan. 9, 2013, in Massaro's upstairs apartment in the 1100 block of Hickory Street. Prosecutors say Adam Landerman, Massaro, McKee and Miner made plans to rob Rankins before he arrived with his friend Glover.
Massaro said Miner made a cutting motion across his throat as a prearranged signal that the women should go downstairs with McKee's baby daughter before he and Landerman attacked the victims. She heard someone ask, "Why are you doing this to me?" as the struggle began, she testified.
Massaro's father testified he was awakened by the loud noises, which Massaro told him was a TV falling off a dresser because some guys were horsing around.
"He said if they didn't knock it off he'd call the police," Massaro testified. She went back upstairs.
"I tried to turn [the upstairs] doorknob. It was locked. I heard someone saying, 'Die ... die.' [That] was Joshua Miner," she said.
During cross-examination, Massaro said she'd "pounded on the door" and asked what was going on, but had it slammed in her face.
"And the first time you're ever telling this is today in court?" defense attorney Chuck Bretz asked as Massaro sniffled back tears and said she was telling the truth that the door was locked, then opened and slammed closed again.
Massaro is serving a 10-year-sentence in the Logan Correctional Center for robbery and concealing a homicide. She was led into court Thursday by two Department of Corrections officers and did not look at McKee until she was asked to identify her for the record.
McKee, seated next to defense attorneys Neil Patel and Bretz, showed little reaction as Massaro spoke.
Massaro said after she couldn't get into the apartment, she and McKee briefly left the house to drop off McKee's daughter at a sitter. When they returned, Massaro noticed blood on a light switch and asked where Glover and Rankins were.
"They kept telling us they were gone," Massaro said. She then looked in the apartment's second bedroom, finding the bodies.
"They weren't," she said and sobbed before finishing, "they weren't moving."
Massaro said Rankins was "a drug dealer" she and McKee had hung out with two or three other times in the weeks before his death. Massaro said McKee told her that she and Rankins were not boyfriend and girlfriend but had a sexual relationship.
Massaro recalled complimenting Rankins' clothes, style and taste in alcohol on a prior occasion and said he'd pulled out a roll of cash in acknowledgment.
Under cross-examination, Massaro said she didn't think McKee asked for the money Miner allegedly took from Rankins' body, but maintained McKee was involved in discussing ways to get money and a robbery was proposed. McKee is charged with murder for helping plan the crime that led to Rankins' and Glover's deaths, prosecutors said.
Massaro also said Rankins had called McKee several times Jan. 9 before he and Glover came over.
Massaro admitted in court to hitting and kicking the bodies of Eric Glover and Terrence Rankins, but denied having sex on top of them. McKee told police that Massaro had told her that she and Miner had attempted to have sex on a mattress placed on top of the bodies, but he was unable to perform.
Bretz pointed out that Massaro lied many times while being questioned by detectives after the bodies were discovered, frequently claiming she didn't remember what happened.
"You didn't remember there were two dead bodies in your apartment?" Bretz asked.
"I didn't want to remember," Massaro said.
Massaro told investigators the victims had groped her, but testified Thursday that was not true.
"I was scared," she said of her questioning by police.
Bretz had Massaro review a letter she wrote her mother from the Will County jail.
"It's all going to be OK soon when I'm free to roam the world again. I'm willing to do anything to see you and my dad again," Massaro had written.
"It took a lot of strength to come in here and throw your friend under the bus so you could get a great deal," Bretz said.
With credit for jail time and good behavior, Massaro could be released from prison by 2018.
Massaro's testimony concluded Thursday. The trial is set to resume Monday, when prosecutors expect to conclude their case.