West Peoria man charged with murder of wife and 8-year-old son

WARNING: Viewer discretion is advised due to the graphic nature of the story.

WEST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Details have emerged after Quadreka S. Payne, 32, and her 8-year-old son Cael Thornton were found dead in West Peoria Thursday morning.

Prosecutors announced in court Friday that 34-year-old Rickey J. Payne, arrested Thursday in connection with the double homicide, faces six counts of first-degree murder, three for Quadreka Payne and three for Cael.

Rickey Payne also has prior offenses in Iowa and Mississippi.

Deputies were dispatched to the Cedar Avenue home around 8:15 a.m. Thursday after receiving a call about a man having problems with his wife.

When they arrived, Rickey Payne told deputies he was locked outside. He then told them he had 15-month-old twins inside.

The deputies crowded into the house for a social check. Inside, on the first floor, they found Quadreka Payne lying in a pool of her own blood, apparently shot in the face.

Upstairs they found Cael dead with multiple gunshot wounds to the head, as well as the twins in a pack game.

Outside the house, deputies found a silver pistol. Neighbors told deputies they saw Rickey smoking cigarettes outside on a tree stump earlier that day.

Prosecutors said Quadreka Payne’s brother gave MPs Facebook messages from Quadreka, saying she was afraid of Rickey Payne and feared for her safety.

Rickey Payne initially denied finding the silver pistol outside of the home, but later admitted to having it.

He told MPs he got into an argument with Quadreka Payne on the first floor of the house on Wednesday night and said the argument allegedly stemmed from Quadreka Payne receiving late-night messages.

He said Quadreka Payne had a gun of her own and she pulled it out before putting it back. He said he then drew his gun, the aforementioned silver pistol, and she tried to take it from him.

In the fight for the gun, Rickey Payne said he overpowered her and the gun went off, shooting Quadreka Payne in the face. When she got up, he said he shot her again.

Rickey Payne said Cael kept coming downstairs to investigate the noise, despite being told to stay upstairs.

Rickey Payne said he then followed Cael upstairs and shot the 8-year-old boy twice in the head. He said he killed the boy because Cael prevented him from “cleaning up the mess downstairs”.

On Friday, Rickey Payne decided to hire a public defender, but he said he would eventually hire an attorney.

Prosecutors asked the judge for $5 million bail, while Rickey Payne’s public defender asked for $1 million. The judge approved the $5 million bail and said he had never had to set bail that high before, but he believed the case was justified.

Rickey Payne is scheduled to appear back in court on October 27.

https://wgntv.com/news/illinois/west-peoria-man-charged-in-death-of-wife-8-year-old-son/ West Peoria man charged with murder of wife and 8-year-old son

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