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Man sentenced to life in prison for 2022 West Peoria double homicide

A gavel rests on a judge's bench in a blurry courtroom. The text "WCBU Courts" sits on top of that photo.

A Mississippi man was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for the 2022 murders of his wife and stepson in West Peoria.

Rickey Payne, 35, was found guilty by a Peoria County jury in February inn the deaths of Quadreka Payne, 32, and 8-year-old Cael Thornton.

Payne struck his wife in the face with an object multiple times before shooting her three times, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors also say Payne's 15-month-old twins were in the room when he shot Cael Thornton after killing the boy's mother. The twins weren't harmed.

Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.