A Christopher man accused of killing his wife on Halloween evening will not appear in court again until later this month, but that is still unlikely to be enough time for the late woman's family to make sense of her sudden death.
Brian D. Pheasant, 43, appeared via live video feed Wednesday morning before Circuit Judge Tom Tedeschi, who set a preliminary hearing date of Nov. 23. Pheasant faces two counts of first degree murder following the Monday shooting death of his wife, 37-year-old Beth A. Pheasant, at the couple's home in Christopher.
Brian Pheasant remains in the Franklin County Jail on $2 million bond. He faces between 20 and 60 years for each of the charges, as well as potential enhancements of 25 years to life because of the alleged use of a firearm.
Assistant Franklin County public defender Kevin Popit was appointed to represent Pheasant during Wednesday's hearing. Popit was not in the courtroom.
Police responded Monday to the Pheasants' home on Egyptian Avenue in Christopher following a 911 call that, according to Beth Pheasant's father, was placed by the woman's teenage daughter.
Larry Wyskiel of Benton was at the Franklin County Courthouse for Brian Pheasant's first advisement hearing Wednesday, along with Beth's mother and stepmother. Wyskiel said he had not spoken with Beth, his only child, for at least a few weeks preceding her death, although he believed her husband may not have been living at the house at the time of Monday's shooting.
Wyskiel said the Pheasants had no children together, but they each had children from previous relationships. Beth had three of her own. Wyskiel said some of the children were in the house at the time of the shooting.
"I think they were sleeping," Wyskiel said.
A tearful Wyskiel said that since Beth was his only child, he has taken the experience of losing her particularly hard. He said he is determined to see justice for her.
"This was senseless," Wyskiel said. "I never dreamed something like this would happen."