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Man charged with killing his wife and stepson in West Peoria

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Authorities say a 34-year-old man has been charged with murder in connection with the fatal shooting of his wife and stepson at their West Peoria home.

Rickey J. Payne was arrested on preliminary charges of murder, gun offenses, and obstructing justice, the Peoria County sheriff's office said late Thursday. He was being held at the Peoria County jail.

Payne is accused of killing his 32-year-old wife and 8-year-old stepson Thursday morning, at their residence in the 100 block of North Cedar Avenue. Sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call and found both victims deceased inside the residence. Their names have not been released. The woman is the 8-year-old's mother.

There were also two 1-year-olds in the residence at the time of the incident, but they were not physically harmed, authorities said. These twin toddlers are the children of Rickey Payne and the woman victim.

"Please keep the victim's family, coworkers, classmates, teachers, and our first responders that responded to the scene and investigated this tragedy in your thoughts and prayers. We recognize this affects everyone in our community, and we mourn this inconceivable loss of life of a mother and son," Sheriff Chris Watkins said in a statement late Thursday.

Payne has previously been arrested in numerous other states but not in Peoria County, authorities said.

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