Contributed photo by the RCMP                                Jason Klaus (left) and Joshua Frank in a pickup truck before Frank spoke to an undercover RCMP officer he believed was an organized crime boss about the murders of Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus.

Contributed photo by the RCMP Jason Klaus (left) and Joshua Frank in a pickup truck before Frank spoke to an undercover RCMP officer he believed was an organized crime boss about the murders of Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus.

Triple-murder trial ends

Judge will provide his verdict on two men accused of first-degree murder on Jan. 10.

Joshua Frank’s videotaped murder confession had a “powerful impact,” said a Crown prosecutor in closing arguments Wednesday.

“Anyone who has watched Frank’s cold, matter-of-fact confession will not soon forget it,” said Crown prosecutor Douglas Taylor said in closing arguments in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.

However, it was the way Frank and Jason Klaus casually chatted after Frank told a supposed crime boss how he killed Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus near Castor on Dec. 8, 2013, that struck Taylor.

These were two men who looked happy and relieved they were getting away with murder and “how ironic that’s the reason we ended up here,” Taylor said to Justice Eric Macklin.

Frank had been summoned by Klaus to the meeting with an undercover police officer in the parking lot of CrossIron Mills mall in July 2014.

Klaus told his underworld friends he had planned the murder of his family but Frank did the shooting.

Frank was there to back up that story because Mr. Big suggested he could set things right.

That story was the truth and both men should be found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder, said Taylor

It was a story Klaus told two undercover officers during a four-month RCMP Mr. Big operation and again to police after his arrest in mid-August 2014.

However, in their trial testimony, Klaus and Frank changed their stories. They said they had no idea the killings would happen that night and, it was wholly the work of the other.

They had not gone to police because they feared each other, court heard.

Taylor called the men’s testimony “fanciful concoctions.”

The murders were planned because Klaus disdained his family and was afraid thousands of dollars he had stolen from the farm account was about to be discovered.

For Frank, the motive was “greed for money, pure and simple. He saw an opportunity for easy money and he took it.”

Klaus’ lawyer, Allan Fay, said his client’s confessions were lies. Klaus told the undercover officers he planned the murders as a way to fit in with a criminal organization, and he confessed to police because it’s what he thought they wanted to hear.

Klaus knew details about the shooting of his family because Frank told him, said Fay.

Fear of Frank had stopped Klaus from going to police.

“It was not a contrived fear. It was not made-up fear. It was a real fear.”

When Klaus met Frank at Castor’s Cosmopolitan Hotel the night of the murders they planned to steal a pickup from the family farm for Frank as an insurance scam.

“That was the extent of the scheme. Go there, steal the truck and leave,” said Fay

Klaus testified that he had no idea Frank would go into the home and kill his family that night. He did not find out what Frank had done until he told him a few days later.

Frank’s lawyer, Tonii Roulston, said it was Klaus who did the killing and later told various versions of what happened that night to manipulate people.

“I think he fancied himself a mastermind. He’s just not a very smart one.”

Frank feared Klaus and was coached to tell Mr. Big he did the shooting.

Roulston pointed out that Frank had routinely lied and it would be wrong to assume the one time he told the truth was when he spoke to Mr. Big. He was playing a role and made up details to sell the story, she said.

Since both Frank and Klaus frequently lied what they say is less important than what can be corroborated by the evidence, she said.

When Frank confessed to Mr. Big he was wrong on important details, suggesting he was not the actual shooter.

Macklin said he will give his verdict on Jan. 10.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Innisfail RCMP are investigating a single-vehicle crash that happened west of Bowden on March 21, 2021. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Bashaw RCMP investigate fatal collision in central Alberta

Bashaw RCMP are investigating after a fatal collision Saturday afternoon. Police were… Continue reading

A damaged unicorn statue is shown in a field outside of Delia, Alta. in this undated handout photo. It's not often police can report that a unicorn has been found, but it was the truth Saturday when RCMP said a stolen, stainless-steel statue of the mythical beast had been located in a field not far from where he'd been taken. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Mounties get their unicorn; stolen statue of mythical beast found in Alberta field

DELIA, Alta. — It’s not often police can report that a unicorn… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Ethan Rowland battles with Medicine Hat Tigers forward Brett Kemp during WHL action at the Centrium Saturday night. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers claw back, hand Rebels 11th straight loss

Tigers 5 Rebels 2 The same old issues continue to plague the… Continue reading

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
AstraZeneca-linked blood clot confirmed in Alberta

A case of an AstraZeneca-linked blood clot has been confirmed in Alberta,… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

People cross a busy street in the shopping district of Flushing on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in the Queens borough of New York. Access to the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is growing by the day. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kathy Willens
Despite COVID-19 vaccines, Americans in D.C. not feeling celebratory — or charitable

WASHINGTON — This might make Canadians jealous of their American cousins for… Continue reading

A man pays his respects at a roadside memorial in Portapique, N.S. on Thursday, April 23, 2021. RCMP say at least 22 people are dead after a man who at one point wore a police uniform and drove a mock-up cruiser, went on a murder rampage in Portapique and several other Nova Scotia communities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Memorial service in Nova Scotia marks one year since mass shooting started

TRURO, N.S. — A memorial service is planned for today in central… Continue reading

In this April 23, 2016, photo, David Goethel sorts cod and haddock while fishing off the coast of New Hampshire. To Goethel, cod represents his identity, his ticket to middle class life, and his link to one the country's most historic industries, a fisherman who has caught New England's most recognized fish for more than 30 years. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
‘It’s more than just a fish:’ Scientists worry cod will never come back in N.L.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The latest assessment of Atlantic cod stocks, whose… Continue reading

FILE - In this Friday Aug. 21, 2020 file photo, Leonid Volkov, a top strategist for Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, addresses the media in Berlin, Germany. Activists for imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny are calling for massive protests in the heart of Moscow and St. Petersburg as Navalny's health reportedly is deteriorating severely while on hunger strike. Leonid Volkov, a top strategist for Navalny, said the demonstrations are called on short notice for Wednesday April 21, 2021, because "his life hangs in the balance. ... We don't know how long he can hold on." (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)
Navalny’s team calls protests amid reports of failing health

MOSCOW — Associates of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny called Sunday… Continue reading

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gestures during a news conference Sunday, April 4, 2021, at the Manatee County Emergency Management office in Palmetto, Fla. DeSantis has received a single-dose coronavirus vaccine. His office confirmed Wednesday, April 7, 2021 that the Republican governor got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires only a single dose. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, file)
GOP White House hopefuls move forward as Trump considers run

WASHINGTON — Less than three months after former President Donald Trump left… Continue reading

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Ontario Premier Doug Ford points on a COVID-19 caseload projection model graph during a press conference at Queen's Park, in Toronto, Friday, April 16, 2021. Ontario was set to backtrack on controversial new police powers to enforce stay-at-home orders implemented in the battle against COVID-19.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ford backtracks on new police COVID-19 powers amid intense backlash

TORONTO — Furious criticism of new anti-pandemic powers that allow police in… Continue reading

The official program for the National Commemorative Ceremony in honour of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, sits on an empty pew prior to the ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa on Saturday, April 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prince Philip remembered as ‘a man of great service’ during Canada’s memorial service

Canada’s commemorative ceremony in honour of the late Prince Philip offered a… Continue reading

Most Read