Southern Alberta Newspapers
The first local murder trial in southeastern Alberta in nearly three years was scheduled to begin Jan. 8 where Deborah Murril Belyea, 70, stands accused of second-degree homicide in the death of her husband Alf and hiding the body.
A two-week judge-alone trial has been scheduled for Medicine Hat Court of King’s Bench.
That will be the first homicide case that proceeds to trial at Medicine Hat since a lengthy trial in late winter of 2021.
Deborah Belyea, of Suffield, was charged in October 2021 after RCMP officers found human remains at a rural location near Piapot, Sask. six days after they issued a missing persons report for Alfred Harry Herbert Belyea.
A preliminary hearing held in early 2023 set the matter for trial on a charge of second-degree murder and interfering with human remains.
Belyea is represented by Calgary defence attorney Katherine Beylak.
The case drew large interest across the province at the time.
Alf Belyea served for six years on Cypress County council representing Suffield. He had already been acclaimed for another term as the only candidate in elections set to take place in mid-October 2021.
On Oct. 8, Redcliff RCMP announced that Alf, 72 at the time, was the subject of a missing persons file over the Thanksgiving Day weekend. The following Saturday, a large police presence was reported at outbuildings of a farm near Piapot and charges were laid.
The couple had moved briefly to Maple Creek to retire in the early 2010s from Haida Gwaii, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, where Alf was the public works manager for the town of Port Clements.
The couple has three children.
Deborah Belyea, who has appeared in court with the aid of a walker and oxygen tank, has been out of custody since early 2022 in order to live at an assisted living facility.