Jury played drowning re-enactment

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Arrow Lake is where Laura Letts-Beckett, the wife of former Napier councillor Peter Beckett drowned.
Arrow Lake is where Laura Letts-Beckett, the wife of former Napier councillor Peter Beckett drowned.

A 2-hour video of a former Napier city councillor re-enacting the moment his Canadian wife drowned in a lake has been made public.

Peter Beckett is on trial for the first degree murder of Laura Letts-Beckett who drowned in August 2010.

Peter Beckett.
Peter Beckett.

The Crown alleges Beckett killed his wife out of greed, and stood to gain a significant amount of money in life insurance and other benefits.

The video re-enactment was played to his jury at the British Columbia Supreme Court.

Peter Beckett tells the detectives what he did the moment he heard the splash.

In the video, filmed before his arrest in 2011, Beckett is taken by police to Upper Arrow Lake, where he is put on a boat with three detectives. He details his version of the events of his wife's drowning multiple times.

Mrs Letts-Beckett drowned in the lake on August 18, 2010. Her death was initially believed to be accidental, but Beckett was charged one year later.

In earlier evidence Beckett claimed his wife fell out of their Zodiac dinghy. He has said he had his back to her when she fell.

He said he could not get far enough underwater to rescue his wife, so he swam to shore, retrieved a rock and swam back out to her, where he used the stone to sink below the surface of the water and pull Letts-Beckett to shore.

In an earlier video, Beckett referred repeatedly to the detective driving the police boat as "skipper". He also offered investigators lessons on the feeding habits of trout and the differences between igneous versus sedimentary rocks.

The two met in 1995 in New Zealand. Five years later, he moved to Westlock, Alberta, to be closer to her. The couple married in 2003.

Previous witnesses have described their relationship as a rocky one. The Beckett's split briefly in late 2007 but reconciled months later.

Letts-Beckett also went to police alleging physical abuse on the part of her husband, but no charges were laid.

Through her questioning, defence lawyer Donna Turko has suggested Letts-Beckett was depressed prior to her drowning.

Beckett was formerly a city councillor in Napier, New Zealand.

His trial, which began in mid-January, is expected to last three months.

The trial is slated to resume on February 29. - Kamloops This Week

- To view the video, see kamloopsthisweek.com

- Hawkes Bay Today

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