Star witness in double-murder trial testifies against ‘friend’
BY JON SEIDEL Staff Reporter August 6, 2014 10:00AM
Alisa R. Massaro | Will County Sheriff's Office
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Updated: September 8, 2014 10:50AM
Alisa Massaro began her testimony Thursday in a Joliet courtroom against a young woman on trial for a double murder whom she has known since she was 14 years old and still refers to as her “friend.”
Massaro, 20. gave more chilling details about the murder of two men at Massaro’s home on Hickory Street in Joliet, as her friend Bethany McKee, also 20, sat just feet away in the courtroom, one of three people charged with their 2013 murders.
Massaro, 20, said she persuaded McKee to leave the room after she got a signal from Joshua Miner, who prosecutors say teamed up with his friend, Adam Landerman, to strangle and beat Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover for money.
Massaro showed a Will County judge what the signal was by sliding her fingers across her throat.
“It meant to get out of the room and let them do what they had to do,” Massaro explained.
They went downstairs, and her father asked about the noise from upstairs. After making an excuse, Massaro said she went back upstairs to find the door locked.
But behind the door, she testified, she heard the voice of Miner saying: “Die, die.”
Massaro said she and McKee left the house for 10 to 15 minutes, and when they returned, Miner and Landerman were still there, but she didn’t immediately see the bodies.
But soon, she saw them “in my old bedroom.”
“They weren’t moving,” she said, her voice breaking.
Massaro is testifying as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. She was initially charged with murder along with the other three, but she wound up pleading guilty to robbery and concealing a homicide and getting a prison sentence of 10 years in exchange for her cooperation.
During cross-examination, McKee’s defense attorney, Chuck Bretz, attacked Massaro for taking the deal.
He pointed out that she lied to the police “more times than I can count.”
Massaro said she would have told the truth on the witness stand even without the plea deal.
“I realized how important the truth is. It sets you free,” Massaro said.