Antioch murder suspect killed two with machete, prosecutors say - New York News

Antioch murder suspect killed two with machete, prosecutors say

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Billy Varner, 54. Billy Varner, 54.
ANTIOCH, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A north suburban man allegedly killed his wife with a machete because he thought she was ill and then killed his mother when she became suspicious, Lake County prosecutors said Tuesday.

A Lake County judge ordered Billy Varner, 54, held without bail Tuesday after he was deemed a flight risk, the Sun-Times is reporting. Varner was arrested Saturday in North Dakota.

Prosecutors Tuesday said Varner attacked his wife, Peggy Henderson, 61, with a machete and a knife inside the couple's bedroom Oct. 26.

Two days later when prosecutors said Varner grew to believe his live-in mother was suspicious, he killed her too, allegedly suffocating 82-year-old Dorothy Varner with a plastic bag on Oct. 28.

Varner then allegedly stole his brother's van and fled to North Dakota where he was arrested after police say he barged in on a Catholic mass and robbed parishioners at gunpoint.

Authorities say they discovered the grisly double-murder after Varner spoke to his brother on the phone. The brother had noticed his van was missing. When he called to inquire, Varner said he was taking his wife and their mother to the hospital.

Varner then allegedly hung up on his brother and steered for North Dakota.

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