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McKee trial ends, decision will take two weeks

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 11:05 p.m. CDT
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Bethany L. McKee
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Terrence Rankins
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Eric Glover
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Alisa R. Massaro, 2-26-94 dob, murder
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Adam M. Landerman, dob 7-3-93, murder
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Joshua F. Miner, dob 6-30-88, murder

JOLIET – A judge will take two weeks to decide if Bethany McKee is guilty of murder.

McKee’s bench trial finished Tuesday with Judge Gerald Kinney saying he will “take some time to go over” the case, setting an Aug. 29 date for his decision.

McKee is charged with murder for allegedly luring Terrence Rankins and Eric Glover on Jan. 9, 2013, to Alisa Massaro’s house in the 1100 block of North Hickory Street. Glover and Rankins were allegedly strangled to death and robbed of cash by Adam Landerman and Joshua Miner shortly after they arrived.

All four suspects were charged with murder, but Massaro pleaded guilty to lesser charges in exchange for testifying against the others. Landerman and Miner are awaiting separate trials.

Massaro testified last week that she did not have sex with Miner on the victims’ bodies, but while being questioned by police, Massaro acknowledged she did. In a video recording played in court Tuesday morning. Massaro said she is “very embarrassed” to talk about the sexual encounter, which investigators apparently learned about from questioning Miner.

“At what point did you have sex on the bodies?” Detective Carlos Matlock asked Massaro during questioning.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” she replied.

“Was it before [the bodies] were moved out of your bedroom?” Detective Tom Ponce asked.

“Yes,” Massaro answered.

Massaro also acknowledged Landerman stood on the bodies to “surf” on the victims.

Massaro told detectives “it was a possibility” the victims came over expecting to have sex with her and McKee.

“They got real [upset to see Miner and Landerman there]. You could tell by the look on their faces they were upset,” she said on the video.

McKee did not testify in her own defense.

“She knew Terrence Rankins had money. She and Massaro left the room as they were supposed to and she saw him get hit [by Miner],” Assistant Will County State’s Attorney Dan Walsh said during his closing argument.

“[McKee] knows the plan is in motion. This is happening,” Walsh said.

Defense attorney Chuck Bretz said McKee could’ve been successfully charged with other crimes, such as concealing a homicide or obstructing justice, for her conduct after the slayings.

“But actions afterward cannot be used to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” Bretz argued. While McKee knew about the robbery, didn’t prevent it or notify anyone, she is not accountable for it under the law, Bretz said.

Bretz said McKee believed Miner’s robbery suggestion was “trash talk” and didn’t take it seriously.

Bretz said McKee and Rankins were friends who exchanged 133 text messages in December 2012 and more in the days before the slaying.

Rankins and McKee exchanged 21 text messages during the day of Jan. 9, 2013, according to cellphone records submitted in court. Rankins called McKee once the day before, eight times during the day and nine times in the 20 minutes before he and Glover arrived, according to the records. McKee did not call Rankins’ phone once, Bretz noted.

“All this communication, but she left out there’s two other guys [at Massaro’s] because it’s a plan to get money,” prosecutor John Connor said.

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