Criminal Justice

Woman convicted of double murder in plot to rob victims for cigarette money

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Bethany McKee, an Illinois woman charged with murder in the death of two men who died by strangulation, was found guilty Friday, the Chicago Tribune reports.

McKee, 20, and three other defendants are accused of luring Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover into a Joliet home, with the purpose of robbing them for cigarette money in January 2013.

McKee’s lawyers argue that she didn’t know about the plan and wasn’t involved until after the men, both 22, were killed and robbed. Will County prosecutors maintain that McKee called her father and asked for his help getting rid of the men’s bodies.

McKee, who was found guilty in a bench trial, faces a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

One defendant, Alisa Massaro, previously pled guilty to robbery and concealing a homicide. She received a 10-year sentence in exchange for her testimony against the others, according to the Tribune. Joshua Miner and Adam Landerman, the other two defendants, are awaiting trial.

McKee told police that Miner spoke of scalping Rankins and Glover, the Tribune reports. She also stated that she kicked one of the victims, and the other three defendants hit the bodies with empty liquor bottles. According to an earlier article in the Southtown Star, Massaro in a police interview acknowledged that she and Miner had sex on top of the victims’ bodies after the murders. She later denied in court that happened.

Will County Judge Gerald Kinney, who handed down McKee’s verdict, stated that the evidence in her case showed a “stunning lack of respect for human life,” the Southtown Star reports. Sentencing is scheduled for October.

Updated Sept. 2 to add a link to a Southtown Star article.

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