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Tue October 6, 2009
Suspect Arrested in Church Beating
By Angela Hatton
Anna, IL – A southern Illinois man is accused of trying to kill two women authorities say he severely beat in a church. Illinois State Police say 45-year-old Willis Bates of Anna was arrested yesterday at a Marion motel, a week after the attack at his hometown's First Baptist Church. He's charged with attempted murder, burglary and felony theft. Sixty-nine-year-old church secretary Mary Shepard was injured along with a 76-year-old cleaning woman, Leona Mount. Both women were hospitalized but are expected to recover. Bates is in jail on a one million dollar bond.