For­mer New Zealand coun­cil­lor found guilty of first-de­gree mur­der in B.C.

Times Colonist - - B.C./Canada - — AP

KAMLOOPS — A jury in Kelowna has found a for­mer city coun­cil­lor from New Zealand guilty of killing his wife.

Pe­ter Beck­ett had pleaded not guilty to first­de­gree mur­der in the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beck­ett, who drowned in a lake near Revel­stoke in Au­gust 2010.

The jury had been de­lib­er­at­ing since Tues­day.

The ver­dict of first-de­gree mur­der car­ries an au­to­matic life sen­tence with no chance of pa­role for 25 years.

The cou­ple were liv­ing in Al­berta in 2010 and were on a camp­ing trip when Letts-Beck­ett died.

Crown coun­sel ar­gued dur­ing the three­week trial that Beck­ett pushed his wife, who didn’t know how to swim, into the water, killing her so he could cash in on her life in­sur­ance pol­icy and get her in­her­i­tance.

His de­fence told the trial that Letts-Beck­ett ac­ci­den­tally fell in and Beck­ett tried to save her.

This was the sec­ond time Beck­ett faced trial on the charges. Last year, a jury in Kamloops could not reach a con­sen­sus and a mis­trial was de­clared.

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