Canada Jason Klaus, Joshua Frank convicted of first-degree murder in killings of Alberta farm family

22:31  10 january  2018
22:31  10 january  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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Jason Klaus and Joshua Frank have been found guilty of three counts of first - degree murder in the December 2013 deaths of Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus .

Jason Klaus , 42, and Joshua Frank , 32, were found guilty last month on three charges of first - degree murder . Jason Klaus , Joshua Frank convicted of 1 st- degree murder in killings of Alberta farm family .

Jason Klaus, Joshua Frank convicted of first-degree murder in killings of Alberta farm family:  © Facebook

Jason Klaus and Joshua Frank have been found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder in the December 2013 deaths of Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus.

"Together they planned and carried out the three murders," Court of Queen's Bench Justice Eric Macklin said in his decision, delivered in a packed Red Deer courtroom Wednesday. "Each one played a crucial role in executing the plan."

Macklin said he was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that all three victims were shot to death and their bodies were burned in the Klaus home on a farm near Castor, Alta.

Klaus and Frank did not show any reaction when Macklin delivered his decision.

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14. Jason Klaus , Joshua Frank convicted of 1 st- degree murder in killings of Alberta farm family . Klaus , 42, and Joshua Frank , 32, were convicted earlier this month of three charges of first - degree murder in the deaths of Klaus 's parents and sister, who were shot to death in their beds

The pair were convicted in January of three counts each of first - degree murder in the deaths of Klaus ' parents, Gordon and Sandra Klaus , and his sister, Monica Klaus . Jason Klaus , Joshua Frank convicted of 1 st- degree murder in killings of Alberta farm family .

The Crown wants both men to serve life sentences with no chance of parole for 75 years. A sentencing hearing has been set for Jan. 22 in Red Deer.

The court was set to hear victim impact statements Wednesday afternoon.

Judge rejected testimony from both accused

Macklin rejected the testimony of both of the accused and accepted evidence from an undercover operation.

Macklin found that in the early morning of Dec. 8, 2013, Klaus dropped Frank off and Frank went into the home, shot the three victims dead and then poured gasoline in the home before shooting the family dog, Keela, and setting the house on fire.

Frank drove off in a white GMC truck and the two men met at the location where the truck was left. The next day, Frank threw the handgun used in the killings into the Battle River.

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Jason Klaus , Joshua Frank convicted of 1 st- degree murder in killings of Alberta farm family . Klaus , 42, and Joshua Frank , 32, were sentenced in January to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Joshua Frank , 32, faces three counts of first - degree murder . (Facebook ). Accused killer blamed friend for murder of his parents and sister at central Alberta farmhouse. "I know you committed the murder of Jason Klaus 's family ," Paradis said.

Frank shot the victims and set the house on fire, Macklin said. "He did this according to this planning and deliberation with Mr. Klaus. Mr. Frank knew exactly what Mr. Klaus expected of him and he carried out the murders in accordance with their plan."

Macklin found that Klaus encouraged Frank to kill the victims, provided him with a handgun and information and paid him for his participation, promising that further payment would come.

During the six-week trial, both accused took the stand in their own defence and pointed the finger of blame at each other for the crime. But the most crucial evidence was presented through secret recordings of undercover RCMP officers talking to both Klaus and Frank.

  • 2 liars and 3 murders: trial wraps up in Red Deer
  • 'Stone cold killer': Video captures Joshua Frank confession

The undercover operation

On April 1, 2014, Mounties launched a so-called Mr. Big sting targeting Klaus that was dubbed Project Kontingent.

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Jason Klaus , Joshua Frank convicted of 1 st- degree murder in killings of Alberta farm family . The two men were convicted in January of three counts of first - degree murder for the December 2013 deaths of Klaus ' parents, Gordon and Sandra Klaus , and his sister, Monica Klaus .

Jason Klaus , 42, and Joshua Frank , 32, were sentenced to life in prison, and will be eligible to apply for parole after 25 years. The two friends were convicted in January of three counts each of first - degree murder in the deaths of Klaus 's parents, Gordon and Sandra, and his sister, Monica.

For four months, Klaus believed he had joined a group of organized criminals that provided him with friendship and easy money.

He repeatedly confessed to his new friends that he had planned the deaths of his parents and sister. He also maintained he had convinced his friend, Joshua Frank, to pull the trigger.

When Frank met "Mr. Big," he corroborated Klaus's story by admitting he shot Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus.

On tape, Mr. Big asked, "So would it be safe to say you're a stone-cold killer?"

Without missing a beat, Frank smiled and replied, "I guess."

During closing arguments, prosecutor Douglas Taylor submitted the Crown's theory on motive for the crimes.

"Simply put, Klaus's motive was his disdain for his family and the way in which he was being treated by his parents and sister," Taylor said.

"He was worried his forgery of cheques and theft of money from his parents would lead to him being marginalized and left on his own. With them gone, he could do what he wanted and the family farm would be his."

Regarding the co-accused, Taylor said, "Conversely, Frank's motive was unoriginal, yet pronounced — greed for money, pure and simple. He was an unemployed, destitute drug addict. He saw an opportunity for easy money and he took it."

Klaus and Frank were arrested and charged on Aug. 15, 2014. They have been in custody ever since.

The Red Deer courtroom was packed with the victims' friends and family members for every day of the six-week trial.

They declined comment during the trial, but clearly found much of the graphic evidence and testimony difficult to hear.

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