Suburban Chicago man apologizes before being sentenced for 2013 murders of wife, mother


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WAUKEGAN, Illinois — A suburban Chicago man apologized before receiving a 45-year prison sentence for the murder last year of his mother and wife.

Billy Varner was sentenced Monday by Lake County Circuit Judge Mark Levitt after he said he was "sorry" for killing his wife, Peggy Henderson, with a machete and suffocating his mother, Dorothy Varner.

Varner pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop 32 counts of murder and two counts of attempting to conceal a homicide.

Assistant State's Attorney Ari Fisz said his office spoke with members of the victims' families and law enforcement officials before entering into the deal with Varner.

The 55-year-old Varner of Antioch will be required to serve the entire sentence before being eligible for parole.

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