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Illinois woman guilty of murder for cigarette money

Bethany McKee, 20, faces life with no parole for participating in the murders of two men for $120 in Joliet, Ill.
By Frances Burns   |   Aug. 29, 2014 at 2:08 PM

JOLIET, Ill., Aug. 29 (UPI) -- A young Illinois woman was convicted Friday of the murder of two men beaten and strangled by her friends because the group wanted money for cigarettes.

A judge in Will County found Bethany McKee, 20, of Shorewood guilty even though she did not actively participate in the killings of Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover, both 22, in January 2013. Prosecutors said that McKee set up the killings by inviting Rankins to the home where he and Glover were attacked.

McKee faces a sentence of life with no parole.

Joshua Miner, 26, and Adam Landerman, 21, who allegedly carried out the killings, are awaiting trial on murder charges. A second woman, Alisa Massaro, 20, who agreed to testify against the others, was sentenced to 10 years.

The killings were reported to police by McKee's father after she asked him to help the group dispose of the bodies.

Prosecutors played Bill McKee's call to 911 during the trial: "I asked her. I said, 'Were you involved?' and she said 'yes.' "

Questioned by police, McKee said Rankins and Glover were kicked and hit with empty bottles. She acknowledged landing one kick but said she was afraid of what Miner would do to her if she did not participate.

Prosecutors said McKee took her share of the $120 the group took from the victims.

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