Judge may urge jurors in murder case to decide

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ON TRIAL: Former Napier city councillor Peter Beckett is charged with murdering his wife in Canada. PHOTO FILE
ON TRIAL: Former Napier city councillor Peter Beckett is charged with murdering his wife in Canada. PHOTO FILE

Six days after deliberations began, the judge presiding over the B.C. Supreme Court jury trial of a former Napier city councillor accused of murdering his Canadian wife may urge jurors on Wednesday to come to a resolution.

The 12-person jury tasked with deciding Peter Beckett's fate following a trial that spanned four months was sent out to deliberate on Wednesday, April 6.

Beckett, 59, is accused of killing his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett, while on vacation at a lake near Revelstoke more than five years ago.

Letts-Beckett drowned in Upper Arrow Lake on Aug. 18, 2010. Her death was initially believed to have been an accident, but Beckett was charged one year later.

Yesterday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Ian Meiklem called lawyers and Beckett into court. They discussed exhortation - a legal maneuver in which a judge urges a jury to come to a resolution.
Meiklem said exhortation could take place tomorrow.

The jury has deliberated for four full days and three partial days. Deliberations on Monday were cut short due to the illness of a juror.

Beckett and Letts-Beckett met in 1995 in New Zealand. Five years later, he moved to Westlock, Alta., to be closer to her. The couple married in 2003.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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