A former Napier city councillor facing a second murder trial on allegations he drowned his wife in Canada, on Upper Arrow Lake near Revelstoke six years ago, is making an application to move the proceedings out of the town of Kamloops.

Peter Beckett, 59, is charged with murdering his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett, in August 2010.

Last month, after a trial spanning three months and deliberations over seven days, the jury could not come to a unanimous verdict.

Supreme Court Justice Ian Meiklem determined the jury was hung and declared a mistrial. Beckett will undergo a second trial.


At a pre-trial conference yesterday in Kamloops, Beckett and his lawyer Donna Turko indicated they will apply to move the next trial to another city due to publicity surrounding the case.

The Crown's case against Beckett, who moved to Alberta to marry Laura Letts, is a circumstantial one.

Prosecutors allege he killed his wife out of greed, hoping to cash in on life insurance and accidental-death benefits, as well as her teachers' pension.

Beckett, meanwhile, maintained Lett-Beckett's death was either suicide or an accident.

Letts-Beckett admitted to having suicidal thoughts in a 2007 diary entry.

The court heard Letts-Beckett went into the water while she and Beckett were on an evening boat ride near Shelter Bay Provincial Park campground. She was not wearing a life jacket and was not a strong swimmer.