Joshua Miner offered a simple explanation for the horror inside his girlfriend’s Hickory Street home as Joliet officers led him to a police car in handcuffs, an officer testified Wednesday.
“It was either us or them.”
Officer Pat Schumacher said Miner made the comment before he escorted him on Jan. 10, 2013, to the police station, where he and another officer asked Miner to more fully explain how 22-year-olds Eric Glover and Terrance Rankins wound up dead at 1121 N. Hickory.
That’s when Miner, 26, launched into what prosecutors have said was nothing more than fiction concocted by Miner, Alisa Massaro, Bethany McKee and Adam Landerman to cover up a fatal robbery. Will County Judge Gerald Kinney heard the early portions of Miner’s recorded interview with Schumacher at Miner’s murder trial Wednesday.
McKee, 20, has already been convicted of murder, and Massaro, also 20, pleaded guilty to robbery and concealing a homicide in exchange for a 10-year prison sentence. Landerman, 21, has yet to face trial.
The night began with all six partying in a room on the second floor.
Miner, who was bad with names, said one of the victims tried to force himself on McKee. That man ripped off McKee’s pants, Miner said, even when she told him to stop.
Miner said his girlfriend, Massaro, yelled at the man to quit it. When she got upset, Miner said he did, too.
Miner said he punched the man in the side of the head. And when the man looked toward him, he said he followed up with three more punches: “wham, wham, wham.”
The other victim tried to intervene, Miner said, and kicked him in the face.
“That’s when I kind of lost control,” Miner said.
Landerman allegedly kept trying to pull the other victim back as Miner said he got on top of the first victim and tried to choke him out. Eventually, the first victim fell unconscious, Miner said. When Miner went to check on Landerman, he found the second victim on the floor, also unconscious.
Miner said he and Landerman began to “freak out.” And to calm down, they had a couple of shots.
After Miner told his story — acting out portions of the fight with Schumacher — the officers asked Miner if he thought he’d done anything wrong.
“Yes, I killed somebody,” Miner said. “Of course I did something wrong.”
Miner said he was already out on parole and he was worried about going to prison.
“All I could think was, ‘My life is over,’ ” Miner said.
He said McKee offered to call her father for help getting rid of the bodies. And he said they talked about cutting the bodies into pieces to get rid of them. He also said the group got rid of the victims’ car.
“My guy gave it to another guy,” Miner said, refusing to name names.
But Miner told police “the two girls had nothing to do with it.” And he said he should have called police when he realized the men were dead.
And then, as police prepared to take a break from the interview, Miner warned them they might find a suspicious message on his phone. He said he sent it to Massaro, and he said he saved it out of “humor.”
It said, in part, “you don’t f – – – with a true psychopathic road clown. I’ve got bodies.”
Prosecutors are expected to play the rest of the interview when Miner’s trial continues Thursday.