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Four accused in Joliet double murder appear in court

Adam M. Landerman (clockwise from top left) AlisR. Massaro JoshuF. Miner Bethany L. McKee  |  Supplied photos

Adam M. Landerman (clockwise, from top left), Alisa R. Massaro, Joshua F. Miner and Bethany L. McKee | Supplied photos

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Updated: February 16, 2013 6:32AM

Bill McKee stood in the Will County courtroom Monday with his hand over his mouth while his daughter, Bethany, appeared on the video feed from the county jail. She is one of four people charged with first-degree murder in the strangling of two men last week in a Joliet home.

“My wife and I send out condolences to the families of the victims,” he said outside the courtroom. “This is a surprise to us, no matter what anyone says. We’re giving it to God at this point.”

Also accused in the murders of Eric Glover, 22, and Terrance Rankins, 22, both of Joliet, are Joshua Miner, 24; Alisa Massaro, 18, and Adam Landerman, 19, all of Joliet, and McKee, 18, of Shorewood.

Joliet Police said Glover and Rankins were lured to the Joliet home last week and robbed and strangled.

Despite statements from authorities that the suspects had attempted to dismember the bodies, the Will County coroner confirmed Monday that the bodies were whole. Joliet Police Chief Mike Trafton has called the murders, “one of the most brutal, heinous and upsetting things I’ve ever seen in my 27 years of law enforcement.”

All four of the those accused appeared in court Monday by video feed from the Will County Jail. Circuit Court Judge Roger Rickmon kept their bail at $10 million and set their next court dates for Feb. 5.

Joliet Police were called to Massaro’s house on Thursday and found the bodies of Glover and Rankins. Authorities said the group continued to party after the men were killed, and when police arrived, Landerman, Massaro and Miner were playing video games. McKee had left before police arrived and was arrested in Kankakee, police said.

Prosecutors have been tight-lipped about the case, not providing a narrative of what they think happened. State’s Attorney James Glasgow said he plans to personally prosecute the case.

Details of the crime will come out in court, Assistant State’s Attorney John Connor said, but until then prosecutors will not release details to avoid tainting witnesses.

All four were charged under a theory of accountability for planning and participating in the robbery that led to the deaths of Glover and Rankins, Glasgow said.

Jamille Kent, Rankins’ mother, and his uncle, D’arcy Kent, said Monday they were frustrated by the lack of information they’ve gotten from authorities.

“There’s a lot more to this,” Jamille Kent said.

The Kent and Glover family members met with prosecutors after the court hearing.

Outside the courthouse Monday, after the hearing, friends of Glover and Rankins expressed shock over their murders.

George Leftridge, who said he was a friend of both victims, called the killings “diabolical.”

If “they were on drugs, that’s no excuse,” he said. “No drug makes you just wake up and kill two people.”

Leftridge said he hoped the defendants would “spend the rest of their days behind bars.”

“He was a good friend of ours,” Stephanie Lytele, of Joliet, said of Rankins. “We’re just here to pay our respects and make sure justice is served.”Will County court records show Miner has had previous legal troubles.

In a criminal complaint filed Oct. 31, 2005, when he was 16, Miner was accused of videotaping a woman having oral sex with a child and a man having sex with the same child. Miner pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of unauthorized videotaping. His attorney had pointed out that, while Miner was charged as an adult with the felony, minors could not serve prison time for felony child pornography under state law. Miner was sentenced to prison in 2010 for a residential burglary, though he ended up in a state boot camp program instead.

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