March 1st, 2024

Deborah Belyea found guilty of murder and performing an indignity to human remains

By medicinehatnews on January 29, 2024.

Deborah Belyea, seen using oxygen tube arrives, at the Court of King's Bench in Medicine Hat for her verdict hearing. The province's top court found Deborah guilty in the second-degree murder of her husband and former Cypress County councillor Alfred Belyea and found her guilty in committing indecent acts to his deceased body. --NEWS PHOTO BRENDAN MILLER, January 29, 2024

Medicine Hat News

A Suffield woman has been found guilty of killing her county councillor husband in 2022 then removing his arms and disposing of the body in rural Southwest Saskatchewan.

Deborah Murril Belyea, 70, was accused of second-degree murder and performing an indignity to human remains in Oct. 2022 shortly after her husband, Alf Belyea, was reported missing over the Thanksgiving Day Weekend. He had served for six years as a councillor with Cypress County since the couple moved to Alberta from British Columbia.

Read previous coverage of the trial here.

The verdict was announced shortly after the noon-hour at Medicine Hat’s Court of King’s Bench. Sentencing will take place at a later date.

Second-degree homicide carries a minimum sentence of life in prison.

Over the course of a seven-day trial held earlier this month the Crown prosecution called 17 witnesses to testify including two of Belyea’s daughters, as well as RCMP officers involved with the case, Cypress County councillors and forensic, DNA and toxicology experts.

Defence counsel Katherine Beyak had argued that the Crown’s evidence left gaps, and that her client has health problems that would make it difficult to move the 79-kilogram (180-pound) corpse.

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