CHICAGO (CBS) — A Will County judge has convicted a 20-year-old woman of two counts of murder for her role in a grisly 2013 double slaying in Joliet.
Bethany McKee was charged with first-degree murder in the strangling deaths of Eric Glover and Terrance Rankins, both 22, at a house in Joliet.
McKee, along with three others, was accused of planning a robbery that led to Glover’s and Rankins’ deaths.
In his ruling, Judge Gerald Kinney wrote McKee showed “a stunning lack of respect for human life, as well as a stunning lack of concern for the consequences of taking two lives.”
He noted, while McKee was not present when Glover and Rankins were strangled, she helped plot the robberies and lured the victims to the house where they were robbed and killed, under the guise of a party.
“Will County got it right,” Rankins’ mother Jamille Kent said after the verdict. “We’re not done yet, but it’s a relief.”
Glover’s mother, Nicole Jones, said she was worried and “freaking out” waiting to hear the verdict for more than two weeks.
“But God did his job. He did it, and I’m glad he did what he had to do. When you take one of God’s child, that’s it,” she said.
Another defendant in the case, Alisa Massaro, has pleaded guilty to reduced charges in connection with the murders, and agreed to testify against her co-defendants, in exchange for a 10-year sentence.
Joshua Miner, 26, and Adam Landerman, 21, allegedly strangled Glover and Rankins.
While McKee’s attorneys argued she should be acquitted of murder charges because was not in the room when the victims were killed, prosecutors have said McKee was fully involved in planning the robbery, and had numerous opportunities to call police after the victims were killed, but didn’t, so is just as responsible as the others.
Jones said it was difficult to sit through the trial and hear grisly details of the murders, and what the defendants did and planned to do with the victims’ bodies. Miner and Massaro allegedly had sex on the victims’ bodies after Glover and Rankins were strangled, and the four defendants allegedly discussed wearing one of the victims’ faces as a mask and taking their teeth as souvenirs.
“It’s been really hard, you know, as a mother. How could you hear that? It’s hard, it’s really hard,” Jones said.
McKee opted for a bench trial, which was held over the course of six days earlier this month.
After closing arguments, the judge wanted to take time to look over the case, and scheduled a hearing for Friday to announce his verdict.
Miner and Landerman are still awaiting trial.