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Second Peter Beckett murder trial moved to Kelowna

Peter Beckett and his deceased wife Laura Letts. - File photos
Peter Beckett and his deceased wife Laura Letts.
— image credit: File photos

By Tim Petruk, Kamloops This Week

The second trial of a former New Zealand politician accused of murdering his Canadian wife while on vacation near Revelstoke nearly seven years ago will take place in Kelowna.

In B.C. Supreme Court on Monday, prosecutors agreed to have Peter Beckett’s murder trial moved to Kelowna from Kamloops.

In April 2016, following a three-month trial, a Kamloops jury was unable to return a unanimous verdict. A mistrial was declared and Beckett later announced his plans to apply to move his second trial away from Kamloops.

Beckett’s wife, Laura Letts, drowned in Upper Arrow Lake near Revelstoke on Aug. 18, 2010. He was arrested a year later and has been in custody since.

At trial, prosecutors accused Beckett of having killed his wife out of greed. Beckett maintained her death, which took place while the couple was boating on Shelter Bay, was either suicide or an accident.

Pre-trial hearings are continuing in Kamloops. Next week, defence lawyer Marilyn Sandford is expected to make an application to have Beckett’s charges tossed due to unreasonable delay.

His trial is scheduled to begin on Aug. 21 in Kelowna.

 

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