Judge to hear recording of alleged mastermind of grisly Joliet murders

SHARE Judge to hear recording of alleged mastermind of grisly Joliet murders

The voice of the man who allegedly engineered a grisly double-homicide on Joliet’s Hickory Street in January 2013 could finally echo through a Will County courtroom Wednesday.

The murder trial of Joshua Miner, 26, kicked off Tuesday with prosecutors telling Will County Judge Gerald Kinney that Miner “lost it” while trying to rob Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover, both 22, after Glover kicked him in the head.

On Wednesday, prosecutors are expected to play a recording of Miner’s interview with police after his arrest. That video could offer new revelations about the crime already notorious for its sordid details.

Miner’s guilt will be decided by Kinney, who already found 20-year-old Bethany McKee guilty of Rankins’ and Glover’s murders even though she wasn’t in the room when they were killed.

But Miner’s attorneys said in opening statements prosecutors won’t prove their case.

Miner and his friend, Adam Landerman, 21, are accused of strangling Rankins and Glover after the pair plotted with McKee and another woman, Alisa Massaro, 20, to rob Rankins for cash to buy booze and cigarettes. Testimony in McKee’s trial revealed Miner to be the driving force behind the crime.

Massaro pleaded guilty to robbery and concealing a homicide in exchange for a 10 year prison sentence. She also agreed to testify against her co-defendants. Landerman has yet to face trial.

The attack took place in a second-floor apartment — Massaro’s home — where Glover and Rankins were lured under the pretense that they’d be partying with the two women.

The group gathered in a room to drink, smoke marijuana and play video games, according to testimony at McKee’s trial. But prosecutors said Tuesday that Miner was upset because McKee’s 15-month-old daughter was also in the room.

The attack allegedly began after Miner gave the women a signal, prompting them to leave with the child. Miner told Rankins to “empty out your pockets” as the robbery began, Assistant State’s Attorney John Connor said.

Glover tried to intervene and kicked Miner in the head, Connor said. Glover was subdued by Landerman, Connor said, but that’s when Miner allegedly “lost it.”

Connor also said Miner had experience with bare-knuckled fighting and chokeholds.

After the men were dead, Connor said the defendants put bags over the victims’ heads because McKee and Massaro didn’t want to see their faces. Connor also said Landerman “surfed” on the bodies.

They said the group tried to come up with a way to dispose of the bodies and eventually, they talked about cutting them up and leaving the pieces in various locations.

Six Joliet police officers also testified Tuesday about what they found when they arrived at the Hickory Street home on Jan. 10, 2013, reviewing much of the evidence revealed during McKee’s trial.

But several also said they heard Miner admit to killing one of the victims. And Joliet Officer Bruce Trevillian testified once again that, when he first found Miner smoking a cigarette on a couch on the second floor, Miner told him he’d “done the guy with the dreadlocks.”

Email: jseidel@suntimes.com

Twitter: @SeidelContent

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