Fugitive shot dead by police near Antioch suspected in Kentucky murders

  • Gerald R. Boyes

    Gerald R. Boyes

  • Fugitive Gerald R. Boyes was fatally shot by police outside Toppers Sports Bar near Antioch early Saturday after, authorities say, he brandished a gun.

    Fugitive Gerald R. Boyes was fatally shot by police outside Toppers Sports Bar near Antioch early Saturday after, authorities say, he brandished a gun. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 4/16/2016 11:22 PM

A fugitive fatally shot by police outside a bar near Antioch early Saturday likely was responsible for the recent murders of his father and another person in Kentucky, authorities said.

Gerald R. Boyes, 53, was gunned down after he waved a handgun at Lake County and McHenry County sheriff's deputies who were trying to arrest him, said Tom Nugent, the assistant commander of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force.

 

Boyes, who grew up in the Chicago area but whose last known address was in Jacksonville, Florida, was shot about 12:15 a.m. Saturday outside Toppers Sports Bar, 26211 Route 173, police said.

Boyes was killed while inside a white 2015 Ford Flex that had been reported stolen in Florida, authorities said. Boyes had rented the car in early March but didn't return it, Kentucky authorities said.

A handgun was found at the scene, Nugent said.

Two deputies from the Lake County sheriff's office and two deputies from the McHenry sheriff's office were there to arrest Boyes, Nugent said. Boyes was wanted on a warrant by Florida police for a probation violation.

Police are investigating whether Boyes fired first or pointed his gun without firing, Nugent said. The number of shots fired was not immediately known, Nugent said.

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Boyes was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was hurt.

The Lake County coroner's office will perform an autopsy Monday.

The major crimes task force is investigating the case because Lake County and McHenry County police were involved in the shooting. The Lake County deputies assigned to the task force have been removed from the investigation to maintain impartiality, Undersheriff Raymond J. Rose said.

Murder suspect

According to the Florida Department of Corrections website, Boyes' criminal history includes convictions in the mid-1980s for robbery and theft, which led to sentences of 62 years behind bars. His record also includes convictions for burglary, assault, identity theft and other crimes, police said.

In 1989, Boyes escaped from prison in Orange County, Florida, but was imprisoned again in 1991 for seven years and in 2004 for nine years.

He was paroled from prison in 2013 and is listed on the prison system's website as a fugitive.

Most recently, Boyes was a suspect in a double murder last week in McCracken County, Kentucky.

Gerald B. Boyes, left, and Billie Potter were discovered murdered April 12 in Kentucky. Boyes' son was suspected in the crime and was shot to death by police near Antioch early Saturday.
Gerald B. Boyes, left, and Billie Potter were discovered murdered April 12 in Kentucky. Boyes' son was suspected in the crime and was shot to death by police near Antioch early Saturday. - Courtesy of McCracken County Sheriff's Department
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

One of the victims was his father, 73-year-old Gerald Boyes, McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden said. The other was 67-year-old Billie Potter, the elder man's longtime girlfriend, Hayden said.

The couple were found dead in their home April 12 by a neighbor, authorities said.

Boyes and Potter were beaten to death with a heavy tool police found at the house, Hayden said.

Police are trying to determine a motive for the slayings. The younger Boyes had an "extremely strained" relationship with his father, Hayden said.

McCracken County investigators traced the younger Boyes to Illinois after he pawned his father's "very distinctive" wallet at Sterling and Knight Jewelry & Pawn in Villa Park, Hayden said. The detectives discovered the transaction in a database in which pawnshops enter purchases, he said.

McCracken County investigators then drove to Villa Park, recovered the wallet at the store and discovered surveillance video of Boyes and the stolen Ford.

"We have him on video at the pawnshop, pawning the wallet," Hayden said.

That prompted a suburban search for Boyes and the car, which eventually was found outside Toppers near Antioch.

The McCracken County detectives were not on the scene when police shot Boyes, Hayden said.

After he was shot, detectives found Boyes had a prescription pill bottle belonging to his father, Hayden said.

Hayden praised police in Florida and Illinois for helping track down "the person who's responsible for these horrible deaths."

Why was Boyes here?

Fugitive Gerald R. Boyes was inside a stolen Ford brandishing a gun before deputies from Lake and McHenry counties fatally shot him outside Toppers Sports Bar, authorities say.
Fugitive Gerald R. Boyes was inside a stolen Ford brandishing a gun before deputies from Lake and McHenry counties fatally shot him outside Toppers Sports Bar, authorities say. - Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Police from several of the investigating agencies said they weren't yet sure why Boyes was in Lake County.

"That's one of the questions we are working on answering," Nugent said.

Hayden confirmed Boyes' brother was an Antioch motorcyclist who was struck and killed by a driver in the Antioch area in August 2015.

Gregory Boyes, 50, was hit by a woman who authorities say was drunk and fled the scene. She later was arrested.

Leena A. Ultsch, 34, of the 26400 block of West Grapevine Avenue in Antioch Township, now is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, aggravated DUI resulting in death, and failure to report an accident resulting in death.

Ultsch was arrested again earlier this month in Wyoming and charged with felony drug possession after a disturbance there, police said. She is in custody in Wyoming and is awaiting extradition to Lake County.

The Boyes shooting is the second fatal officer-involved shooting in Lake County this year. In January, Zion police shot and killed 38-year-old Charles J. Hollstein during a struggle. Hollstein was carrying a pellet gun that looked like a real pistol and was wearing a vest equipped with homemade metal inserts.

• Daily Herald staff writer Marni Pyke contributed to this report.

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