Miner guilty in Joliet double murder
Karen Sorensen | 10/8/2014, 5:47 p.m.
Joshua Miner, the key player in the slaying of two Joliet men, has been found guilty for his role in the Hickory Street murders and will be sentenced Nov. 12.
The verdict was handed down Wednesday by Will County Circuit Judge Gerald Kinney, who presided over Miner's seven-day trial for the Jan. 9, 2013, deaths of Eric Glover and Terrance Rankins, 22-year-old Joliet residents.
Miner is the third of four suspects to have been convicted in the case. The fourth, Adam Landerman, 21, of Joliet, is still awaiting trial.
Bethany McKee, 20, of Shorewood, was convicted in a bench trial before Kinney in August and is to be sentenced Oct. 16. Alisa Massaro, 20, whose Joliet home was the scene of the murders, pleaded guilty to robbery and concealing a homicide in exchange for her trial testimony; she is serving a 10-year prison term.
In the trial, prosecutors portrayed Miner as the main protagonist in a planned robbery that escalated to murder when Glover kicked him in the head as he fought with Rankins, at which point he "lost it" and choked Glover to death. Miner bragged during his interview with police that he had experience with choke holds that can cause someone to become unconscious and sometimes die.
It's alleged that Landerman killed Rankins.
After the murders, the group used the money they stole to buy cigarettes, gas and drugs, took items from Glover's car and planned to dismember the bodies. They also took turns striking the dead men with a bottle, and it's alleged Landerman rode their bodies like a surf board while Miner and Massaro attempted to have sex on top of the corpses, according to testimony and videotaped confessions.
The murders were discovered after McKee contacted her father for help in getting rid of the bodies, and he instead called the police.
Defense attorneys offered up a limited case for Miner, arguing that the murders were not premeditated but instead the result of a fight that went out of control.
Miner has twice served prison time prior to this arrest. In 2008, he was sentenced to a year for criminal damage to property, and he was out on parole for a 2010 residential burglary, for which he was sentenced to four years.
It's anticipated that Miner will be sentenced to life in prison, a fate he anticipated during his interview with police on the night he was arrested for murder.
"I'm going to die in prison," he told the detectives.
Contact Karen Sorensen at Karen@TheTimesWeekly.com.