Bethany McKee was eighteen years old when she participated in a robbery that ended with two murders. According to court documents Bethany McKee, who was pregnant at the time, and three others – Joshua Miner, Adam Landerman and Alissa Massaro planned the robbery of the two men. In the end the two men were strangled to death. This teen killer did not participate in the actual double murder however her participation would end with a life without parole sentence. According to prosecutors Brittany McKee led the two men to their murders
Brittany McKee 2020 Information
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Bethany McKee More News
A Shorewood woman convicted in the 2013 grisly killings of two Joliet men has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to review her case and overturn her life sentence.
Bethany McKee, 23, was sentenced to life in prison three years ago after being found guilty of murder for the strangulation deaths of Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover. The two men were found dead inside a residence on Hickory Street.
At her trial, Will County prosecutors said McKee and three others — Joshua Miner, Adam Landerman and Alissa Massaro — plotted to rob and kill Rankins and Glover. McKee, who knew Rankins, told her friends he always carried cash with him and agreed to help lure him and Glover to the apartment to rob the two men, prosecutors said.
Though she did not participate in the strangulation of the two men, state law requires a mandatory life sentence when found guilty of two murders. McKee was found guilty under the theory of accountability, where prosecutors argued she knew — or should have known — that the two men could be killed as part of the robbery. In developing the plan to rob the two men, Miner said he and Landerman could kill them and the four developed a signal for the two women to leave when the robbery would happen, prosecutors argued at trial.
Both Miner, 29, and Landerman, 24, are serving life sentences for the murders. They also are appealing their convictions.
Massaro, 23, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of robbery and concealing a homicide in exchange for her testimony. She received a 10-year sentence and is eligible for parole in 2018 according to the Illinois Department of Corrections website.
An appellate court upheld McKee’s sentence in June. In July, her attorneys filed a request for the Illinois Supreme Court to review the case.
The request argues the justices should review the case because of conflicting rulings from other districts involving similar cases. McKee’s attorney, Bryon Kohut, also argues McKee was just 18 years old at the time of the killings, had no criminal background and suffered from “considerable mental health issues” and “horrific abuses” as a teenager.
Kohut points to two other Illinois cases that involved murders and convictions based on the accountability theory. In those cases, the mandatory life sentence was eventually ruled unconstitutional based on the defendants’ young ages, lack of criminal history and support of family, according to court documents filed last month.
Kohut said the earliest the state’s high court could review the case is September.
In an appellate court ruling upholding Will County Judge Gerald Kinney’s decision to impose a life sentence, appellate court justices in their written ruling noted McKee “actively participated” in planning the crime and was an “instigator.” They noted she lured the two men to the apartment, made the suggestion to rob Rankins, used money that was stolen from the two men to buy gas and stole various items, including baby boots, from Glover’s car after he died, according to court documents.
Bethany McKee Other News
Bethany McKee, 20, will spend her natural life in prison after being sentenced on Tuesday for her role in the 2013 murders of Eric Glover and Terrance Rankins.
Glover and Rankins, both 22, were strangled to death. Their bodies were found with plastic bags over their heads inside a home on Hickory Street in Joliet, Ill.
“She is the reason he was there,” said Jamille Kent, Rankins’ mother. “It would have never happened if she didn’t bring him there.”
McKee was found guilty in the murders by a judge in August. On Monday, her defense attorney’s motion for a new trial was denied.
Joshua Miner, 26, the mastermind behind the murders, was found guilty last month. His sentencing is set for later this month.
Adam Landerman, 21, is also charged in the murders. He is awaiting trial.
A fourth suspect, Alissa Massaro, pleaded guilty to robbery and concealment of a homicidal death for which she received a 10-year prison sentence.
Defense attorneys argued that McKee did not physically harm the men, that she is mentally ill, had been abducted into a sex trafficking ring at 14 and had a history of substance drug abuse.
McKee apologized to the families in court. Crying, and at times hard to understand, she read a statement saying, “had I known this was going to happen I would have made better choices.”
Judge Gerald Kinney was critical of the state’s sentencing guidelines.
“If given discretion, I would impose a sentence that was significant but would not be the maximum,” he said.
As the state mandates, Judge Kinney sentenced McKee to natural life in prison.
“She’s confused,” said Bethany McKee’s father, Bill McKee. “She has no idea what’s going on.”
The Rankins family, while still grieving, say they are grateful to Bill McKee. It was McKee who actually called police which led to discovering the victims.
“He did the right thing and we appreciate that, so our prayers go out that family as well,” said D’Arcy Kent, Terrance Rankins’ uncle.
Bethany McKee More News
A Shorewood mom locked up when she was just 18 for the Nightmare on Hickory Street murders had her life sentence upheld by an appellate court.
Bethany McKee, now 22, was found guilty in the double murder case and sentenced to life in prison even though she did not lay a hand on either of the men she was convicted of killing — and was not even in the same room with them when they died.
McKee went down for the January 2013 murders of Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover, both 22, because a judge believed she came up with the idea to lure Rankins to the Hickory Street home of her friend Alisa Massaro.
McKee, Massaro, 23, Josh Miner, 28, and Adam Landerman, 23, were broke and wanted to buy more cigarettes and alcohol, so they hatched a scheme to kill and rob Rankins, whom McKee believed would be carrying drugs and a lot of money.
Miner and Landerman actually killed Rankins and Glover, strangling them to death, but the women were also charged with the murders.
After Glover and Rankins were killed, Miner and Massaro had sex atop the dead men’s bodies, according to police reports obtained exclusively by Patch.
In the wake of the slayings, Miner also spoke of flaying one of the dead men and wearing his face like a mask, McKee told detectives during an interrogation at the Kankakee Police Department.
“He was going to take a picture later on with his face pulled off like Leatherface,” McKee said, telling how Miner was inspired by the horror film “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” in which Leatherface goes on a murderous rampage and wears a dead man’s face like a mask.
“I think it’s because of the dreads” the man wore, McKee explained to Joliet police detectives. She said Miner wanted to “scalp his head and wear it like a hat.”
Massaro made out a lot better than her friends. She squirmed out of the murder case by pleading to reduced charges of robbery and concealing homicides. She was sentenced to five years in prison but will be released within four years of striking her deal.
At McKee’s sentencing hearing, her mother, Teresa McKee, said her daughter is bipolar, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, cuts herself, is unsure who fathered her then-3-year-old daughter and has been hospitalized for extensive periods of time due to her psychiatric problems. Bethany McKee’s attorney, Neil Patel, told how she was raped when she was 14 and shortly after abducted and forced into prostitution.
Before sending Bethany McKee to prison for life, Judge Gerald Kinney said he was handing down the sentence “with some reluctance.”
“The way the law is written, I really have no authority,” Kinney said, adding, “Mandatory sentencing is just inappropriate.”
In an exclusive interview with Miner behind the walls of maximum security Menard Correctional Center, he told Patch how he believes both Bethany McKee and Massaro got “bogus deals.”
“And the Bethany girl, I really think that she should have got a deal or something like … just the robbery or conspiracy or something,” Miner said. “She shouldn’t have to be charged with both bodies.”
McKee had no part in planning the killings, Miner said, because there was never a plan in the first place. Miner said he disliked Rankins and Glover after meeting them for the first time that night, so he ordered them to leave Massaro’s home. Glover and Rankins refused to go, Miner said, so he swung at one of them — he’s still not sure which of the two men he hit and ended up strangling — and a fight broke out.
The altercation went on, Miner said, until Rankins and Glover were dead.
“I’m holding him and finally he stops moving, and from what I heard in the trial, like I guess I was holding him like way too long, because he was still moving,” Miner said. “In my mind he was still moving, but the lady (testifying at his murder trial) was saying he was spazzing out or whatever.”
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