Suspect arraigned in decade-long cold case homicide of Marie Walkingstick Pheasant

by Nov 21, 2023NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments


One Feather Reporter

CHEROKEE, N.C.— Ernest Dewayne Pheasant, 46, was arraigned on the afternoon of Nov. 21, 2023, in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians criminal court by Judge Monty Beck for the murder of Marie Walkingstick Pheasant.

Marie Walkingstick Pheasant was 26 years old when she was found dead inside a burning vehicle on Old Rock Crusher Road in the Big Cove community of the Qualla Boundary on Dec. 29, 2013. Her husband, Ernest Pheasant, was arraigned on five offenses in connection with her murder:

23CR10182: Tampering with witnesses

23CR10183: Homicide in the first degree

23CR10184: Domestic violence and dating violence

23CR10185: Tampering with evidence

23CR10186: Possession of firearms, etc. by felon prohibited

Pheasant is being accused of placing his arm around the neck of his wife Marie Walkingstick Pheasant and strangling her to death, then subsequently burning her body in her vehicle in an effort to destroy evidence of the crime of murder between Dec. 28, 2013 and the morning of Dec. 29, 2013.

Judge Beck asked Pheasant if he wanted a court appointed attorney. Pheasant responded that he was “not fighting anymore.” Judge Beck advised Pheasant that he was being recorded. Pheasant accepted a court appointed attorney.

Pheasant is currently being held in the Cherokee Detention Facility without bond. The next hearing will be on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 2pm.