Defense attorneys in Joliet slayings case want reporter to reveal source
BY JON SEIDEL Sun-Times Media June 26, 2013 9:30PM
Adam M. Landerman (clockwise, from top left), Alisa R. Massaro, Joshua F. Miner and Bethany L. McKee | Supplied photos
Updated: July 30, 2013 7:52AM
Four months after a reporter exposed salacious details about a double homicide in Joliet, defense attorneys want to put him on the witness stand to find out how he did it.
Lawyers for Bethany McKee, one of four people charged in the stranglings of 22-year-olds Eric Glover and Terrance Rankins, want to know how Joseph Hosey of Patch.com obtained a set of police reports he used to write a series of stories about the men’s deaths.
Among the more notorious details first exposed by Hosey is a claim that two of McKee’s co-defendants, Joshua Miner and Alisa Massaro, had sex on the victims’ bodies.
A source has confirmed for the Chicago Sun-Times that the detail appears in the reports, which contain conflicting interviews.
The bodies of Glover and Rankins were discovered Jan. 10 in Massaro’s home in Joliet. McKee, Miner and Massaro are charged along with Adam Landerman with first-degree murder.
All four suspects appeared Wednesday in court, where McKee defense attorney Chuck Bretz sought more time to prepare to divest Hosey of his reporter’s privilege. Court records show he also made his request in writing June 12, but the actual motion is sealed.
Will County Judge Gerald Kinney agreed to put off the issue, along with scheduling of DNA testing in the case, until Aug. 7.
Hosey’s lawyer didn’t immediately return a call for comment. Bretz declined to talk about his efforts, citing an order from Kinney gagging parties in the case.
Donald Craven, general counsel for the Illinois Press Association, said the state’s reporter’s privilege statute gives journalists the right to protect their sources, but he said “it’s not an absolute privilege.”
He said lawyers who want to put reporters on the stand must first show there’s a substantial public interest in the case — fairly easy to do in a double homicide.
But from there they must also show the information they hope to glean from the reporter is essential to their theory of the case, and that they can’t get it elsewhere.
“How does it matter to the underlying murder case how this reporter got this police report?” Craven said.