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Alleged "ringleader" convicted in grisly Joliet double murder

JOLIET, Ill. - A Will County judge has convicted a Joliet man in a grisly January 2013 double murder.

Judge Gerald Kinney convicted 26-year-old Joshua Miner on Wednesday after a bench trial late last month. Miner is the second person convicted in the strangling deaths of Eric Glover and Terrance Rankins, both 22.

Prosecutors said Miner conspired with three friends to rob Glover and Rankins for money to buy cigarettes and alcohol. Miner has been portrayed during court testimony as the ringleader in the plot to lure the men to a Joliet home where they were strangled, their bodies left with bags over their heads and hands tied behind their back.

Miner and two other suspects were inside the house playing video games, the bodies nearby, when they were arrested by police, authorities said at the time. The fourth suspect was arrested in Kankakee.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported a Joliet police officer has testified that when he and other officers arrived, Miner confessed to killing Rankins, saying that he had "done the guy with the dreadlocks."

After the verdict was announced Miner's defense attorney said the judge's decision didn't surprise his client.

The first person to stand trial, 20-year-old Bethany McKee, was convicted on two counts of murder in August, though her attorneys reportedly said she wasn't in the room at the time of the killing.

Another suspect, 20-year-old Alissa Massaro, pleaded guilty to robbery and concealing a homicidal death in exchange for a 10-year prison sentence. As part of the agreement, Massaro agreed to testify against the others.

Massaro wasn't called to testify against Miner, though she did testify against McKee, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Miner's sentencing is set for Nov. 12 and he faces a mandatory term of life in prison, reports the paper.

Another suspect is awaiting trial.

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