IL man accused of murdering his wife on Halloween night appears - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

IL man accused of murdering his wife on Halloween night appears in Franklin Co. court

Beth Ann Pheasant (Source: Gilbert Funeral Home) Beth Ann Pheasant (Source: Gilbert Funeral Home)
Brian D. Pheasant (Source: Franklin County Sheriff's Department) Brian D. Pheasant (Source: Franklin County Sheriff's Department)
(Source: Justin Fischer/KFVS) (Source: Justin Fischer/KFVS)
(Source: Justin Fischer/KFVS) (Source: Justin Fischer/KFVS)

A man accused of murdering his wife on Halloween was in a Franklin County court on Wednesday to be read his charges.

Brian Pheasant had an advisement meeting at the Franklin County Courthouse on November 2, attending via video.

The judge read Pheasant his charges, both counts of first-degree murder, in which Pheasant replied that he understood them. 

If convicted, both counts each carry a sentence of 25 years to life. 

Pheasant asked the court if he could be provided with a public defender in which the judge obliged.

A preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 23 at 1:30 p.m. at the Franklin County Courthouse.

Beth's family was at the hearing.

Her father said they're ok with seeing Brian spend the rest of his life behind bars.

"He could rot in jail," Larry Wyskiel said. "If they are going to give him life, it's hard to give somebody two life sentences. You've only got one life. Now how can you serve two life sentences? So if he dies in prison, then that's fine."

The investigation

According to Illinois State Police, officers responded to the home of Brian and his wife, Beth, on Egyptian Avenue, Route 14 on Halloween night.

When officers arrived, Brian was still inside the home and was armed.

Investigators said Beth Pheasant was shot and killed. She died at the scene.

According to the Franklin County coroner, an autopsy was scheduled for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 1.

Her husband, Brian, was arrested at the scene.

He faces two counts of first-degree murder and was lodged at the Franklin County jail.

A judge set his bond at $2 million.

Police originally closed down Rt. 14 between State Street and Maple Street as they looked for more information. The road was reopened as of 6:45 a.m.

We talked to neighbors about what they saw last night.

“The cop was trying to break down that door, put the guy in handcuffs, they taped off the whole area more cops showed and EMT's and all that," Christopher resident Juan Resendez said. "That door was open and you could see somebody laying on the floor.”

“They were taking the body out, and I seen the ambulance take the body out and that’s all I seen," Christopher resident Warren Young said.

”I’ve seen disputes and all that," Resendez said. "But I’ve never seen something like this where they tape off the whole area and all that and I’m assuming she was on the floor or someone was on the floor over there that’s all I seen.”

A visitation for Beth is set to take place on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Gilbert Funeral Home starting at 6 p.m.

Beth is survived by her father Larry Wyskiel and wife Jackie, of Benton and her mother Alice Wyskiel, of Sesser.

Also surviving are her children Makaylah Wyskiel, Shelby Eickelmann, Riley Eickelmann, Hannah Pheasant, Daymon Pheasant and Drew Pheasant, all of Christopher; one grandson Parker James.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, November 5 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher. Private burial will be at a later date in Little Flock Cemetery, in Carterville, Ill.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Gilbert Funeral Home to help with funeral expenses. Gilbert Funeral Home, in Christopher, is in charge of arrangements.

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