Lawyers for accused murderers arguing unreasonable trial delay

Husband and wife and daughter from Castor area died in December 2013

Lawyers for two men accused of murdering a Castor-area family are arguing the case is taking too long to get to trial.

The bodies of Gordon Klaus, 61 and his daughter, Monica, 40 were found in the rubble after their farmhouse burned down on Dec. 8, 2013. Gordon’s wife, Sandra, 62, was never found.

RCMP investigators allege that she also perished in the fire.

RCMP arrested and charged two suspects on Aug. 15, 2014 — Monica’s brother, Jason Gordon Klaus, 43 and an acquaintance of his, Joshua Gregory Frank, 30.

Both men were charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one of arson.

Their trial is set to run from Oct. 10-24.

What is known as a Jordan application was heard in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Thursday.

In July 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada set a new benchmark of what is considered an unreasonable delay in court and that an accused rights to a timely trial were infringed.

Under the new framework, unreasonable delay was to be presumed if proceedings topped 18 months in provincial court or 30 months in superior court.

If a judge agrees the delay was unreasonable charges would be stayed.

Arguments are expected to continue on Friday.

pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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