Crown persecutor Doug Taylor, centre, leaves court after Joshua Frank and Jason Klaus were pronounced guilty by a judge in Red Deer, Alta., Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. The pair were found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Klaus’s parents and sister in a rural home near Castor, Alberta in December 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Two men guilty in murders of Alberta family could face 75 years

The pair were found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Klaus’s parents and sister in a rural home near Castor, Alberta

An Alberta judge is expected to hear arguments today that two men who murdered three family members and burned their bodies should spend the rest of their lives in prison without parole.

Jason Klaus, 42, and Joshua Frank, 32, were found guilty earlier this month on three charges of first-degree murder.

The bodies of Gordon Klaus and his daughter, Monica, were found in their burned-out farmhouse near Castor, Alta., in December 2013. Sandra Klaus was never found, although police believe her body was also in the house.

The victims were Jason Klaus’s father, mother and sister.

Crown prosecutor Doug Taylor said he will be seeking to keep both men behind bars for 75 years before either are eligible to apply for parole.

Life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years is automatic for first-degree murder, but there are provisions in the Criminal Code to have sentences served one after the other for multiple murders.

“Part of the reason that the legislation was enacted was to recognize the value of each individual life in a case like this,” Taylor said after the conviction.

“We feel it’s appropriate to be asking the court to impose consecutive penalties on counts two and three totalling what would be effectively life, no chance of parole, for 75 years.”

Klaus’s lawyer doesn’t think consecutive sentencing should apply.

“I’m hoping to avoid it. From what I have seen of the law where sentences of that kind have been imposed … there have been cases where there are truly horrifying facts not present in this particular case,” said Allan Fay after the verdict was released Jan. 10.

“I’m specifically referring to the Crowsnest triple-murder case that was recently decided in Lethbridge.”

Derek Saretzky was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 75 years last August after being convicted of three counts of first-degree murder for killing two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, her father Terry Blanchette and senior Hanne Meketech in the Crowsnest Pass in 2015.

Consecutive periods of parole ineligibility have also been imposed in Alberta in other triple-murder cases.

Douglas Garland was sentenced last February to life in prison without parole for 75 years for killing Alvin and Kathy Liknes and their five-year-old grandson, Nathan O’Brien, in 2014.

And armoured-car guard Travis Baumgartner was sentenced in September 2013 to life in prison with no chance at parole for 40 years for killing three of his colleagues during a robbery in a mall at the University of Alberta in June 2012.

Klaus and Frank each blamed the other for the killings and both had confessed to an undercover RCMP officer.

During the trial, court heard that Klaus was having problems with his father and offered Frank money to kill the family. Klaus had a cocaine and gambling addiction and forged cheques on his parents account, promising to pay them back.

Frank told police after his arrest that he did it because he was scared that Klaus would shoot him if he didn’t.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Good energy marks third annual celebration of welcome pole

Nov. 22 is Sno’uyutth day in Oak Bay with good energy at Windsor Park beginning at 7 p.m.

Help Polar Express and pancakes fight child hunger

Rotary of Victoria and Breakfast2Music look for event sponsors

More opioid harm reduction resources needed for B.C. youth

Front-line workers advocate for a youth-targeted supervised consumption site in Greater Victoria

Colwood’s Esi Edugyan wins $100K Giller prize for Washington Black

Edugyan won her first Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2011 for Half-Blood Blues

Handmade forest grows inside Bay Centre in support of sick kids

Festival of Trees raises funds for B.C. Children’s Hospital

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

COLUMN: Higher interest rates will slow B.C. economy after ‘unusually robust’ show

Jock Finlayson is executive vice president and chief policy officer of the Business Council of BC

Jason Aldean, Old Dominion to headline Merritt’s Rockin’ River concerts next summer

Four-day music festival at Coldwater River from Aug. 1 to 4

Takedown of deranged, slashing man with knife earns Vancouver Island RCMP officers bravery honour

“The members feel they were just doing their job, I have to disagree. They went above and beyond.”

Courtenay’s new council cycles to its first meeting

Councillors kick off term on two wheels to make a statement

Nanaimo billing ‘drug and theft house’ for police calls

City takes steps under nuisance property bylaw

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Bovine tuberculosis found in cow on southern B.C. farm

CFIA said the disease was found during slaughter and they are investigating

Air force getting more planes but has no one to fly them, auditor warns

The report follows several years of criticism over the Trudeau government’s decision not to launch an immediate competition to replace the CF-18s.

Most Read