Joshua Frank confessed to the murders of Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus during a conversation with an undercover RCMP officer who was posing as an organized crime boss. (Photo contributed by RCMP)

Castor murderer denies he’s a killer

Jason Klaus tells courtroom he loved his family who were murdered in December 2013

A Castor man convicted of first-degree murder for arranging the shooting of his family tearfully denied he was a killer in court on Monday.

Jason Klaus said a relative told him a couple of years ago he should kill himself because he had let the family down. He said suicide may have been an option at one time but not now.

“I plan to fight this through because I did not kill my family,” Jason Klaus, 42, told a packed courtroom. “The little involvement I did have I will regret for the rest of my life.

Klaus made his comments during a sentencing hearing in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench for him and his accomplice Joshua Frank.

Justice Eric Macklin has reserved his sentencing decision until Feb. 14.

Both men were convicted of three counts of first-degree murder on Jan. 10 for the killing of Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus in December 2013.

Following a nearly six-week trial last fall, Macklin said he was convinced that Klaus and Frank plotted the murders, which were carried out by Frank, who shot each of his victims as they lay in bed. Frank then burned down the Klaus farmhouse near Castor to cover up the crime.


Klaus and Frank guilty

Macklin gave Klaus and Frank an opportunity to address the court on Monday.

Klaus pulled a letter he said he wrote when his family was put to rest in May, 2015. It broke his heart to not be able to say goodbye like he wanted to, he said as Klaus family members and friends looked on.

“I miss you guys so very much and I will always feel lost without you in my life,” he said of his family.

“I love my family and you guys know I love my family.

“I’m very sorry,” he ended.

Frank, 32, said he was “truly, truly, deeply sorry” for the loss and pain those affected by the Klauses’ deaths have had to endure and for the pain his own family has endured.

“I love you guys.”

The automatic sentence for first-degree murder is life in prison with no parole for 25 years.

Crown prosecutor Douglas Taylor told the court that three convictions should be served one after the other and the pair deserved at least 75 years in prison with no hope of parole.

Taylor called the men’s crimes a “contract killing of sorts.”

Neither man was under any obligation to talk to police but they chose to and lied repeatedly and tried to steer police towards a group of innocent American hunters who had been in the area before the killings.

It should be considered aggravating in sentencing that the defenceless victims were shot in the beds, a crime that sent ripples through the rural community.

When they took the stand in their own defence, Klaus and Frank each blamed the other for the killings. Their testimony was at odds with confessions they gave undercover police officers during a Mr. Big operation in 2014.

Defence lawyers for Klaus and Frank said a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years was appropriate.

Klaus’s lawyer Allan Fay said the case was not in the same category as that of Derek Saretzky, who was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole 75 years last August for killing two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, her father Terry Blanchette and senior Hanne Meketech in the Crowsnest Pass in 2015.

Fay said those crimes, which included cannibalism, had a “gruesomeness and stark horror” that was not present in the Castor triple-murders.

Sentencing Klaus to no parole for at least 75 years amounts to a “symbolic sentence” since he clearly would not live long enough to apply.

Fay said the sentence Klaus will receive is life in prison and he will only have the opportunity to apply for parole after 25 years.

“There is no guarantee he will be released.” Even then, he will be in his late 60s, he said.

Frank’s lawyer, Andrea Urquhart said giving Frank the opportunity to apply for parole after 25 years offers a chance at rehabilitation. Frank has already tried to take advantage of the limited programs available in the remand centre.

“In Canada, rehabilitation is what defines us,” she said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer walkers raise awareness for homeless at Coldest Night of the Year

This is the third year The Mustard Seed is holding the event in the city

Be aware: city snowplowing underway

Owners of vehicles parked on road should watch out for signs or check with city to avoid tickets

Parkland Fuel Corporation moving Red Deer office

Company plans to consolidate Red Deer office with Calgary, affecting 120 jobs

RDSO, Orontes Quartet to perform free Sunday concert during Canada Winter Games

The show from 6:30 p.m. is in heated tent off Celebration Plaza

Alan Doyle, Ashley MacIsaac perform free Canada Winter Games concert tonight in downtown Red Deer

Celtic show starts at 6:30 p.m. in large heated tent off Celebration Plaza

Fashion Fridays: Must-have wardrobe basics

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Court rejects B.C.’s request to declare Alberta oil export law unconstitutional

CALGARY — A judge has dismissed the British Columbia government’s request to… Continue reading

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

HALIFAX — Thousands of mourners filled a cavernous hall on Saturday for… Continue reading

New immigration projects offer caregivers pathway to permanent residence

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is launching two new immigration pilot programs… Continue reading

Montreal man found guilty of manslaughter in death of ailing wife

MONTREAL — A jury has found a Montreal man guilty of manslaughter… Continue reading

Homan beats McCarville in 3-4 Page Playoff at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

SYDNEY, N.S. — Ontario’s Rachel Homan defeated Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville 6-4… Continue reading

Iowa play-by-play man suspended for “King Kong” comment

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa play-by-play announcer Gary Dolphin has been suspended… Continue reading

Smile: Some airliners have cameras on seat-back screens

Now there is one more place where cameras could start watching you… Continue reading

R. Kelly due in Chicago court to face sex abuse charges

CHICAGO — R. Kelly, the R&B star who has been trailed for… Continue reading

Most Read