Man accused of murdering wife wants second trial moved out of Kamloops

KAMLOOPS - A man facing a second murder trial on allegations that he drowned his wife in Revelstoke wants to move the proceedings out of Kamloops.

Peter Beckett, 59, is charged with murdering Laura Letts-Beckett in Upper Arrow Lake in August 2010.

The couple lived in the rural community of Westlock, Alta., about 90 kilometres north of Edmonton, and were vacationing in B.C. when Letts-Beckett died.

Last month, after a trial spanning three months and deliberations over seven days, the jury could not come to a unanimous verdict and a mistrial was declared.

At a pre-trial conference Wednesday in Kamloops, Beckett and his lawyer Donna Turko indicated they will apply to have the second trial in another city due to publicity surrounding the case.

The Crown’s case against Beckett, a former New Zealand town councillor who moved to Alberta to marry Laura Letts, is a circumstantial one.

Prosecutors allege he killed his wife so he could cash in on her life-insurance policy and teachers’ pension.

Beckett maintained she committed suicide or died after falling into the lake.

Letts-Beckett admitted to having suicidal thoughts in a 2007 diary entry.

Court heard she ended up in the lake while she and Beckett were on an evening boat ride near Shelter Bay Provincial Park campground.

She was not wearing a life-jacket and was not a strong swimmer.


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