Attorneys Spar Over Sealed Hickory St. Murder Files; Judge to Rule

Lawyers argued about whether to unseal the files for the four young people charged with the Nightmare on Hickory Street double murder.

The lawyer for one of the four young people charged with the Nightmare on Hickory Street double murder urged the judge presiding over the case to keep court files sealed and out of the public eye.

"No right ranks higher than the right of the accused to a fair trial," attorney Joel Murphy told Judge Gerald Kinney during a Tuesday morning hearing at the Will County Courthouse.

Murphy represents Bethany McKee, 18, of Shorewood, who was charged with the murders of Eric Glover and Terrance Rankins, both 22, in January. Along with McKee, prosecutors charged three of her friends—Joshua Miner, 24, Adam Landerman, 19, and Alisa Massaro, also 19.

Judge Kinney sealed the case files shortly after Patch ran a series of stories on the killings. The stories were based on police reports obtained exclusively by Patch.

Murphy spoke of the vivid detail in the stories and the graphic accounts of "defendants having sex on dead bodies, defendants wanting to keep the teeth of victims as trophies."

Massaro and Miner told officers they had sex on top of Glover and Rankins' bodies after the killings, according to police reports. McKee told officers about a plan to dismember the corpses and said Miner wanted to keep the dead men's teeth as trophies, according to the reports.

In his argument, Murphy pointed out that there was "widespread national and international" attention generated by the Patch stories.

"They were also published in a manner to sustain public interest," he said, likening the series of stories to the "Twelve Days of Christmas."

Seth Stern, an attorney for an area newspaper, countered that "the fact that the public is interested in a news report does not diminish their right to read it."

Judge Kinney said he would issue a written decision and mail it to Murphy and Stern in about a week.

After Murphy and Stern made their cases, Assistant State's Attorney John Connor told Kinney a grand jury returned new indictments against Landerman, Massaro, McKee and Miner to replace the existing indictments. The attorneys for the four pleaded not guilty on behalf of their clients and waived a formal reading of the charges.

The indictments are under seal and cannot be seen by the public. Connor said in court the changes are minor.

Defense attorneys are also pushing to have a special prosecutor appointed to investigate how Patch obtained the police reports. The effort was postponed until copies of affidavits from the Joliet Police Department are provided to the defense lawyers.

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Shantel May 08, 2013 at 01:25 AM
My concern is for the families of the victims. They should not be going through this. It's sad when you raise children and they have no respect or value for a human being. I don't feel sorry for them they were well aware of what they were doing. Drugs had nothing to do with their actions. Then to top it off there was an adult parent in the house the entire time.
Keis May 08, 2013 at 03:28 AM
Why are people so.curious what happened they killed them bottom line if they were black mfs would be lined up ready for a lynching mob smh
Reflection May 08, 2013 at 12:16 PM
That's a damn shame! They all deserve a life sentence. These kids family been through enough, and it's sad that a lawyer would even try they case knowing that they're guilty.
Jax May 08, 2013 at 06:45 PM
yeah because affirmative action don't work..Grow up people like you are just as bad a klan members always looking to stir the pot of hatred...Just like Jessie jackson and al sharpton..Quit making stupid and ignorant crimes like this about race..this kind of sickness knows no color...GROW UP
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