Wife killer jailed for life

UPDATE: 6 p.m.

The father of Laura Letts-Beckett, the woman murdered by her husband in 2010, says he has to forgive the man who killed his daughter, but he's not there yet. 

After four days of deliberation, a 12-person jury found Peter Beckett guilty of first-degree murder, for the deliberate and planned drowning of his wife on Upper Arrow Lake on the evening of Aug. 18, 2010. 

Throughout the three-week trial, the Crown argued Beckett was motivated by financial gain, evident in the $200,000 accidental death insurance the couple bought just prior to Letts-Beckett's death and Beckett's repeated interest in his wife's will. 

Justice Allison Beames gave Beckett a life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 25 years, the automatic sentence for first-degree murder. 

Following the decision, Letts-Beckett's father, Park Letts, described his daughter as a "gem of a gal" who "wanted to please."

"(Beckett) had such a wonderful gal, that supported him, and he couldn't enjoy that, because it seemed like his only motive was dollars," Letts said. "I wonder if he really loved the girl or loved what she had."

Letts said his religious faith has helped him and his wife through the past seven years, and they would have to eventually forgive Beckett. 

"If we can't forgive, we live in misery the rest of our life," Letts said. "It's not easy, but we do have to do it."

When asked if he had found that forgiveness, Letts replied, "He's only convicted five minutes, that's fairly fast for me."

Letts was very complimentary of the Crown prosecutors, Iain Currie and Evan Goulet, and the RCMP. 

"(The RCMP) wanted the truth, and nothing but the truth, and no effort was too great to find the truth," he said. 

Letts said the guilty verdict has finally given their family closure after seven years.

"We're going to meet our daughter again," he said. 

ORIGINAL: 5:10 p.m.

Peter Beckett was handed an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years, after a 12-person jury found him guilty Saturday of drowning his wife for financial gain.

Beckett was accused of drowning his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett, during an evening boat ride on Aug. 18, 2010 in Upper Arrow Lake, where the couple from Westlock, Alta. was vacationing. 

The jury needed four days of deliberation to decide Beckett's fate, and had been isolated since Tuesday afternoon in the Kelowna courthouse, stopping only for lunch and dinner breaks and to sleep in a nearby hotel.

Beckett's trial lasted just over three weeks, a far cry from his previous trial in Kamloops in 2016 that lasted four months and ended in a hung jury.

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