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.
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