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Judge extends gag order in Joliet strangling case

Updated: April 29, 2013 11:57AM

A Will County judge again extended a gag order Wednesday prohibiting attorneys from talking about the brutal stranglings of two men on Hickory Street in Joliet earlier this year.

Judge Gerald Kinney also ordered all parties — including prosecutors and defense lawyers — to file affidavits with the court denying they’ve been involved in leaks of police reports exposing chilling details of the case to the media.

They are required as well to explain what they’ve done to make sure their employees didn’t leak the documents related to the case against Joshua Miner, Adam Landerman, Bethany McKee and Alisa Massaro.

All four are charged with the first-degree murders in January of Eric Glover and Terrance Rankins in the 1100 block of N. Hickory Street in Joliet. A source has confirmed the reports filled with conflicting interviews allege Miner and Massaro had sex on the victims’ bodies, and that there was a plan to dismember those bodies.

However, Kinney denied a request from McKee lawyer Chuck Bretz for a hearing to determine, at the very least, whether the leaks came from a defense attorney. He also acknowledged some people might think his orders gagging defense attorneys and sealing the case file are too broad but he said he’d address the issue later.

Kinney entered the original gag order earlier this month after the police reports were first leaked, and he said at the time an effort should be made to figure out where they came from.

Assistant State’s Attorney Marie Czech said there was limited access to the case file in the prosecutors’ office, and she said the Joliet Police Department has said it put a “Chinese wall” around the files. Landerman’s mother is a Joliet police sergeant.

Bretz said any assertion by prosecutors that the leak came from a defense lawyer is “absurd.”

“We’re all prepared to testify under oath,” Bretz said.

But Czech said a hearing to figure out where it came from would serve little purpose.

“To what end, judge?” Czech said. “How does that guarantee a fair trial?”

Bretz said McKee’s right to a fair trial has been trampled upon not only by the leak of the police reports, but also by the release of a video of McKee’s arrest in Kankakee on Jan. 10, the day the victims’ bodies were found.

He and Will County State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow told the judge neither of them had seen the video before it appeared on the Sun-Times website earlier this month.

The Chicago Sun-Times obtained that video from the Kankakee Police Department through a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request.

“They hadn’t even given it to us,” Glasgow said of the Kankakee police, “when they foolishly responded to that FOI.”

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