Woman arrested after 60-year-old man stabbed to death in Hamilton

HAMILTON—A 60-year-old Hamilton man is dead after being stabbed outside a Cannon Street East variety store Sunday night.

The victim has been identified as Zoran Benasich, said Det. Sgt. Steve Bereziuk of the major crime unit.

Melena Pheasant, 36, was arrested near the scene and is facing a charge of second-degree murder.

Hamilton police were called for a “person down” outside a Big Bee convenience store at 440 Cannon St. E., at Wentworth Street North, just after 10 p.m. Sunday, Bereziuk said.

Police were nearby on an unrelated call and got to the scene within a minute, he said. Officers found the victim with obvious trauma, stabbed in the parking lot, outside his Hummer.

Witnesses on scene pointed out a woman who was “attempting to leave the area,” Bereziuk said. She was quickly arrested.

The Hamilton Spectator has confirmed that Pheasant posted a series of short videos on YouTube on Aug. 30. Her speech is slurred and at times incoherent as she smokes a cigarette and speaks to the camera. At different points she talks about killing, wanting to die, being paid and not being controlled.

When asked whether drugs were a factor in the homicide, Bereziuk said it was too early to say.

The victim lived with his mom and brother on the Mountain.

News of Benasich’s death “came as a shock” to his family,” Bereziuk said. The family is “quite upset” and “ask for privacy.”

Detectives are trying to determine the relationship between the victim and accused, but believe they knew each other.

She was previously known to police.

Detectives are also trying to piece together when the man drove to the parking lot, what they were doing in the area and what led to the stabbing.

The forensic unit will be searching the area for evidence. Police will also be canvassing in the area looking for witnesses.

Bereziuk said detectives, in particular, are interested in anyone with surveillance video.

Police have not yet recovered the weapon, however, detectives believe it may be in the victim’s vehicle.

The stabbing marks the 12th homicide in Hamilton this year.



Police are not looking for any additional suspects.

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Rich Wouters, of the major crime unit, at 905-546-4921.

To remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or crimestoppershamilton.com.

Nicole O’Reilly is a Hamilton-based reporter covering crime and justice for the Spectator. Reach her via email: [email protected]

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