Judge upholds Peter Beckett murder charge, trial starts in August

Judge rules against dropping charge against Peter Beckett after he asked it thrown out due to delays

  • Jun. 29, 2017 12:30 p.m.

Peter Beckett and his deceased wife Laura Letts. ~ File photos

By Tim Petruk, Kamloops This Week

A judge has ruled against dropping the first-degree murder charge faced by a former New Zealand politician accused of killing his Canadian wife on a B.C. vacation near Revelstoke almost seven years ago.

Peter Beckett will stand trial in Kelowna later this summer. His lawyers had made an application to B.C. Supreme Court Justice Alison Beames to have his charge thrown out due to unreasonable delay.

Beames denied Beckett’s application during a brief hearing in Kamloops on Thursday.

The application was made under a guideline established last year by the Supreme Court of Canada placing limits on criminal proceedings. In Beckett’s case, the guidelines state he should be tried within 30 months. He has been before the courts since Aug. 8, 2011.

Beckett’s wife, Laura Letts, drowned in Upper Arrow Lake, near Shelter Bay, south of Revelstoke, on Aug. 18, 2010.

Beckett’s first trial ended in a hung jury and a mistrial was declared in April 2016.

His second trial is slated to begin in Kelowna on Aug. 21.

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