12/11/2012 04:26 EST | Updated 02/10/2013 05:12 EST

Peter Ernest Edward Beckett Tried To Have Witnesses Killed, RCMP Say

SURREY, B.C. - A 56-year-old Alberta man charged with murdering his wife after she drowned in B.C. two years ago has now been charged with trying to arrange the murders of witnesses in his pending trial.

The RCMP say Peter Beckett faces the additional charges of counselling to commit murder and obstruction of justice.

Beckett he was charged last year with the first-degree murder of 50-year-old Laura Letts-Beckett, who was from Westlock, Alta.

She was fishing with Beckett on Upper Arrow Lake near Shelter Bay in southeast B.C. in August of 2010, when she fell into the water and drowned.

The Mounties later determined her death was a homicide, Beckett was charged and remains in custody in Surrey, B.C., awaiting trial

RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk says police began an investigation four months ago into allegations Beckett was plotting from his jail cell to get someone to kill some of the witnesses in the trial, including an RCMP Investigator and a lawyer.

Beckett was informed of the new charges at the Surrey Pre-Trial Centre, and made his first court appearance on the charges Tuesday.

(CHNL, The Canadian Press)

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