Kelowna jurors soon to decide if Peter Beckett drowned his wife in lake seven years ago | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna jurors soon to decide if Peter Beckett drowned his wife in lake seven years ago

Laura Letts-Beckett's husband Peter Beckett is on trial, accused of drowning her near Revelstoke in 2010.
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September 11, 2017 - 5:06 PM

KELOWNA – Jurors will soon have to decide if Peter Beckett is a devious liar who plotted to murder his wife while on vacation near Revelstoke or a loving husband who was unable to save her when she fell overboard.

Beckett faces manslaughter charges in Kelowna Supreme Court after Laura Letts-Beckett drowned in Upper Arrow Lake Aug. 18, 2010. Crown says Beckett pushed her off a rigid hull inflatable boat knowing she could not swim. Beckett's lawyer says she fell in accidentally and sank so quickly he couldn't save her despite jumping in after her. 

Crown prosecutor Iain Currie spent more than a week trying to convince jurors that Beckett plotted the murder in order to claim a life insurance and a chance at her estate.

During closing arguments today, Sept. 11, defence lawyer Marilyn Sandford pointed out what she says are holes in the Crown's case.

Perhaps most importantly, she said Letts-Beckett carried life insurance most of her life and not just prior to her death, that the claim for more than $500,000 was never made even though Beckett could have made the request, that nothing incriminating was discovered during months of wiretapping Beckett's phone, and that the star witness and jailhouse informant who said Beckett tried to hire him to take out his inlaws is a liar.

She described the informant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, as a “con man who plays games with police and was playing games in the court room.”

She says the witness, who was paid thousands of dollars for his testimony, made up the story.

“There is no rationality to what he does,” Sandford says. “He has no code.”

Sandford also disputes testimony given by a witness that the couple had a troubled relationship.

“Those who knew them best said it was a happy marriage,” she said.

Crown lawyer Iain Currie began his closing arguments by admitting “accidents happen” but says there is evidence Beckett “loathed” his inlaws and coveted their wealth.

"Mr. Beckett hated her parents and spoke about it often," he said.

Both Laura Letts-Beckett’s parents were in the courthouse for the first time today.

Crown will wrap their arguments tomorrow morning after which time the jury will deliberate on their decision.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2017

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