Illinois woman guilty of murder in
robbery plot with friends
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[August 30, 2014]
By Dawn Reiss
JOLIET Ill. (Reuters) - An Illinois woman
who helped lure two men to a drinking session to rob them for money for
cigarettes, gasoline and cocaine, was found guilty on Friday of six
counts of first degree murder after her friends allegedly strangled the
Will County Judge Gerald Kinney said Bethany McKee, 20, was guilty
even though she did not physically participate in the killings,
because she was aware of what was happening and did nothing to stop
Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover, both 22, were robbed and strangled
in a duplex in Joliet - a town outside Chicago - in January 2013.
During a six-day bench trial - before a judge instead of a jury -
prosecutors said McKee and three of her friends, Adam Landerman, 21,
Alisa Massaro, 20, and Joshua Miner, 26, plotted to rob and kill the
Prosecutors said McKee was the one who suggested calling Rankins and
inviting him over to drink because she believed he was usually
After the murder McKee bought cigarettes and gasoline with some of
the cash from the robbery, failed to report it to police and
discussed with her friends how to dispose of the bodies, the judge
noted in his ruling.
"There can be no relief. I can't ever see my brother again and she
still gets to see her parents. But at least it's something," said
Drakkar Williams, 20, Rankins' brother.
One of the key witnesses in the trial was McKee's former friend
Massaro, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence after pleading
guilty to lesser charges of robbery and concealing a homicide.
Massaro told the court that Miner gave her and McKee a signal to
leave the room before the two victims were killed.
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McKee was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder for the
intent to cause great bodily harm to Glover and Rankins, two counts
of first degree murder for her association with the victims being
strangled, and two counts of first degree murder while committing a
forcible felony for robbing the two men.
Judge Kinney scheduled sentencing for Oct. 16. McKee could get a
Miner and Landerman will be tried separately.
(Reporting by Dawn Reiss; Editing by Fiona Ortiz and Eric Beech)
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