A jury in the Kamloops murder trial of Peter Beckett has declared to the judge that it couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict following a week of deliberation.
A sole juror is reported to have held out.
Peter Beckett, 59, is accused of first-degree murder in the death of his wife Laura Letts-Beckett after she drowned while the couple were boating at Shelter Bay south of Revelstoke on Aug. 18, 2010.
The incident was initially reported to local media as a drowning, including a warning from RCMP about boating safety precautions.
But a year later, police and the Crown prosecutors charged Beckett with first degree murder in the incident.
That resulted in a four-month trial in Kamloops, which concluded last night with the jury declaring it couldn’t meet a unanimous verdict.
In the trial, the Crown alleged that Beckett drowned his wife, saying his motive included a life insurance policy, accidental-death benefits and benefits from the former teacher’s pension.
Beckett’s defence lawyers argued the Crown lacked material
Much has been made about the eccentricities of the accused. Beckett, 59, is a former New Zealand local politician known for his flair for stirring things up. He moved to Alberta after meeting his wife, a resident there.
Beckett is described as a mountain of a man, at 6′ 8″ and about 400 pounds. His frequent interjections in court were a subject of comment during the trial.
For more, see this story here.