from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit No.
13-CF-100, Will County, Illinois. The Honorable Gerald R.
Kinney, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Justices Carter and Schmidt concurred in the judgment and
1 The defendant, Bethany L. McKee, was convicted of two
counts of first degree murder
(720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(1) (West 2012)) following a bench trial
and was sentenced to natural life imprisonment. On appeal,
McKee raises an as-applied constitutional challenge to her
sentence. We affirm.
3 On April 25, 2013, the State charged McKee, Adam Landerman,
Alisa Massaro, and Joshua Miner by superseding indictment
with six counts of first degree murder in connection with the
strangulation deaths of Eric Glover and Terrance Rankins.
4 The circuit court held a bench trial in August 2014 at
which the evidence presented tended to establish the
5 On January 10, 2013, at shortly before 4:00 p.m.,
McKee's father placed a call to the police to report two
dead individuals in the residence occupied by Alisa Massaro
and her father, Phillip. When the police responded, they
first had contact with Massaro, who said there were two other
individuals hiding in the house-Miner was hiding upstairs and
Landerman was hiding downstairs. One officer found Miner
upstairs where the two bodies were located; both bodies were
face down and showed signs of rigor mortis. One of the bodies
was lying on top of black garbage bags that had been
separated at the seams with its head wrapped in a plastic
grocery bag. The head on the other body had been wrapped in a
red plastic bag and was resting on a pillow. Miner told
police that he had killed one of the men and Landerman had
killed the other. Eventually, the police also discovered
Landerman in the house.
6 McKee was not at the scene, but she was located driving her
vehicle in Kankakee; she was stopped and taken into custody
in connection with the murders. At the police station, when a
detective told McKee that he wanted to speak with her, she
said she wanted to talk, that she wanted to tell the truth,
and that she wanted to know how much time she would get for
being an accessory to murder. McKee was taken into an
interview room, read her Miranda rights (which she
waived), and interrogated. A recording of the interrogation
was introduced into evidence.
7 In January 2013, McKee and her 15-month old daughter were
staying in Massaro's residence in Joliet. Massaro
occupied the second floor, while her father lived on the
8 On the night of January 9, 2013, Miner, who was
Massaro's boyfriend, and Landerman were hanging out with
McKee and Massaro at Massaro's residence. Short on money
to buy alcohol and cigarettes, the group began discussing how
to come up with some money. McKee had received a text from
Rankins, who asked her if she wanted to drink alcohol with
him and his friend, Glover. McKee mentioned to the group that
Rankins always carried a large amount of cash, as he had two
days earlier when she and Massaro had contacted him to buy
them alcohol. Thereafter, the group began discussing a plot
to rob Rankins.
9 Miner stated that he could beat up and kill Rankins and
Glover, and then steal their money. Landerman volunteered to
help him. McKee indicated in her interview that she did not
think anything was going to happen, but she also admitted
that she went along with the plan.
10 McKee contacted Rankins, luring him and Glover to the
residence. The group set up a signal to indicate when McKee
and Massaro were to leave the room so ...