Bobby Jones clenched his fists in his lap as he stared at the four people charged with murdering his son.
He watched from the front row of a courtroom in Joliet on Tuesday morning, getting his first glimpse of the defendants in person.
"I wanted them to see the pain and the anger that they caused our family," Jones said after the arraignment hearing. "I wanted them to know that Eric had loved ones."
Adam Landerman, 19; Alisa Massaro, 18; Bethany McKee, 18; and Joshua Miner, 24, each pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges and remain in custody on $10 million bond each. Landerman is the son of a Joliet police officer.
The four are charged with strangling Eric Glover and Terrance Rankins, both 22 and from Joliet. Police said they suspect robbery was the motive for the deaths of the two friends at a Joliet home last month.
Jones, who made eye contact with Landerman and Miner, was in court along with his wife and other family and friends of both victims.
"I only can sum it up in one word — anger," Jones said. "The sight of them disgusts me."
Glover's fiancee, Heather Gossman, echoed his sentiments, saying she felt "sick to her stomach" when she saw the defendants.
Prosecutors remain tight-lipped about what happened in the Joliet home on the 1100 block of North Hickory Street. Acting on a tip, police went to the home Jan. 10 and found three of the defendants — Massaro, Landerman and Miner — along with the bodies of the victims, officials said. Authorities have described the scene as one of the most horrific they have encountered in years. Police said the three defendants were continuing to party even as the victims lay dead in the home.
McKee, who was arrested in another town, had allegedly left the home earlier and called her father to tell him what had happened. William McKee then alerted Shorewood police, who in turn contacted Joliet police.
William McKee watched from the back of the courtroom Tuesday and sat quietly in the hallway as friends and family of the victims discussed the case nearby.
"I wanted to show them respect," he said.
Though he said he understands the anger from the victims' families, he added that family members are still reeling from Bethany McKee's arrest and are trying to find answers themselves. His wife cries daily, and their two teenage children are dealing with threats and comments at school about the case, he said.
"All (my son) hears are stupid comments like his sister is a murderer and he should die with her. … My kids don't know how to deal with this," William McKee said.
"This isn't something that is supposed to happen to any family," he said, adding that no family should have to lose someone to homicide either.
He said that when his daughter called to tell him what had happened, she was "terrified." He said he then called police out of love for her.
William McKee said he had tried to keep his daughter away from Massaro for many years. He said his daughter had made positive changes in her life after her own daughter was born.
"All I can say is I love my daughter," he said.Copyright © 2015, RedEye