JOLIET – Bethany McKee was led into Courtroom 407 at 10:45 a.m. Friday.
She wore blue jail scrubs with a pair of eyeglasses folded in the chest pocket. She sat between her defense attorneys and a Will County Sheriff's deputy and was unshackled.
An audience full of her own family, reporters, courthouse staff and about 25 relatives of Eric Glover and Terrence Rankins sat mostly in silence for the next ten minutes, which was the last time - legally speaking - she could be considered innocent of the two men's murders.
Judge Gerald Kinney arrived to read a six-page decision that found McKee, 20, accountable by setting up the robbery that led to their deaths on Jan. 9, 2013 at Alisa Massaro's house in the 1100 block of North Hickory Street. Glover and Rankins, both 22, were allegedly strangled to death by Adam Landerman and Joshua Miner who await separate trials.
"Ms. McKee played a key role in getting the victims over to the Massaro residence, knowing that the groups' intent was to commit the offense of robbery," Kinney said. "She left the room when signaled so that the robbery could begin."
Kinney said McKee showed "a stunning lack of respect for human life and a stunning lack of concern for the consequences of taking two" of them.
During the bench trial earlier this month, Kinney saw McKee's videotaped interview with police where she admitted she and the other suspects discussed robbing Rankins before he arrived and she saw Miner attack him when she left the room with her infant daughter.
"She clearly indicates in her statement that she knew there was going to be at the very least a fight and a robbery if Rankins came over," Kinney said.
Kinney also said the evidence showed McKee used proceeds from the robbery to buy gas, cigarettes and cocaine and took stuffed animals and CDs from Eric Glover's car.
"She also seemed upset in her interview when she realizes that there was probably more money stolen from these victims that she was told," Kinney noted.
McKee also helped put a plastic bag over Rankins head and called her father to help dispose of the bodies. William McKee notified police who went to the house to find Landerman, Miner and Massaro inside with the victims.
Massaro was initially charged with murder and pleaded guilty to lesser charges of robbery and concealing a homicide in exchange for testifying against the others. Kinney said Friday that Massaro's testimony did "little, if anything" to modify the facts McKee admitted to police.
After the verdict was announced, Glover's mother Nicole Jones said her family "did a lot of praying" in the two weeks between the conclusion of the bench trial and the announcement of the verdict.
“I’m just taking this in. I'm not worried about [Miner's trial] next month,” she said.
Jones said it was difficult to sit and hear about the grisly details of her son's death during McKee's trial.
"It's been hard to hear about what happened to your son and how it happened. As a mother how could you hear that," she said.
Massaro testified the victims came over expecting to have sex with her and McKee. During police interviews played in court both women said Miner and Massaro attempted to have sex on a mattress placed on top of the victims' bodies, though Massaro denied this on the witness stand.
Miner also discussed removing the skin from one of the victims' faces to wear as a mask like a character in a horror movie, according to police interviews.
"Two down, two to go," Duval Rankins, Terrence's father said Friday after the decision.
McKee is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 16, but she must receive a life term for murdering two people.