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updated: 8/4/2014 8:23 PM

Trial of double homicide suspect begins

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  • Bethany McKee

    Bethany McKee

Associated Press

The 2013 slayings of two men in Joliet were carried out as part of a plot to steal money, alcohol and cigarettes, a Will County prosecutor told jurors in the trial of one of the suspects on Monday.

In her opening statement for the trial of the first of four suspects in the case, Will County Assistant State's Attorney Tricia McKenna said that while the killers believed one of the victims was known to carry large amounts of cash, when the two were strangled and the killers checked their pockets, they found just $120.

Meanwhile, the attorney for Bethany McKee, Chuck Bretz, said there was no evidence that McKee injured either victim and that the 20-year-old woman should not have been charged with murder, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

McKee was one of four people charged in the January 2013 slayings of Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover, both 22. She is the first one to stand trial. Two others are awaiting trial and the fourth, Alissa Massaro, has pleaded guilty to robbery and concealment of a homicidal death in exchange for a 10-year prison sentence. She is expected to testify.

Prosecutors played a tape of a 911 call that McKee's father made to police after he talked to his daughter. In the tape, according to the newspaper, the father can be heard saying that he asked his daughter if she was involved in the deaths of the two men "and she said yes."

The trial is expected to continue Tuesday. McKee waived her right to a trial by jury, so Will County Judge Gerald Kinney will decide her case.

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