The crowd inside the packed Joliet courtroom watched on a small TV screen in silence as the four defendants made their brief appearances via teleconference, one after another.
19-year-old Adam Landerman, the son of a Joliet Police sergeant.
18-year-old Alisa Massaro, who lived in the house where the murders are believed what happened last week.
24-year-old Joshua Miner and 18-year-old Bethany McKee said very little to the judge Monday afternoon.
All four are charged with first-degree murder in the strangulation deaths of 22-year-old friends Eric Glover and Terrance Rankins, who police say were robbed, killed and partially dismembered at the house on Hickory Street. Both victims went there to hang out.
“He was over there chillin’ with them and everything,” said Casey Smith, a friend of Rankins. “It’s not like he didn’t know them. He knew the females, not the guys, the females. They just set them up pretty much.”
Smith said Rankins called Wednesday night and joked that Massaro and McKee were telling him and Glover that they had been “kidnapped.”
“He said they told him, ‘You ain’t going home tonight,’” Smith recalled, adding that Rankins thought it was a joke. “They said, ‘You’re kidnapped and you ain’t going home.’”
Joliet police were tipped off by McKee after she left the house on Thursday. Police found the other three defendants still partying and playing video games inside of the house, while the bodies of Eric and Terrence were still inside.
“This is something that has been brewing in their system a long time. That was some diabolical acting right there and we need justice right now,” said George Leftridge, a friend of both victims.
The victims’ parents, also inside of the courtroom Monday, cried after seeing those accused.
“What reason?” asked Eric Glover’s mother, holding up a picture of her son.
“That’s the biggest question,” said Glover’s stepfather, Bobby Jones, “Why did you do this to our son and his friend?”
Will County states Attorney James Glasgow says he will personally prosecute this case and called on any possible racial tensions to subside.
The four defendants will appear again in Will County Court on February 5th, after the case goes before a grand jury for indictments.