State Rests, Defense Begins in Brian Pheasant Murder Trial

Brian Pheasant / Photo: Franklin County Jail

Beth Pheasant / Photo: WQRL File

BENTON – The state rested its case in the Brian Pheasant murder trial in Benton Wednesday.

The jury spent several hours reading through what was left of the state’s unpublished evidence, then Franklin County State’s Attorney Evan Owens announced the state would rest.

For the last week, Owens presented evidence attempting to prove Brian Pheasant knowingly killed his wife, Beth Pheasant, at their home in Christopher on Halloween Night 2016.

Over the past week, lots of evidence has been heard from the state’s side including Brian Pheasant learning about his wife’s affair and that they would be divorcing – which would be his third divorce – and a recording of Brian Pheasant telling an Illinois State Police trooper that he intended to kill himself in front of his wife and accidently shot her twice – once in the garage and once in the kitchen.

After the state rested, Defense Attorney Paula Newcomb asked Judge Tom Tedeschi for a directed verdict asking the judge to throw out the two counts of first-degree murder because of insufficient evidence proving intent. That’s according to the Southern Illinoisan.

Tedeschi denied the motion siding with the state due to the evidence presented. The defense will be presenting its evidence today.

Brian Pheasant is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in his wife’s death.