Preliminary inquiry set for 2016 for two men accused of killing three people near Castor

A 10-day preliminary inquiry has been set for 2016 for the two men accused of killing three people on a farm near Castor.

A 10-day preliminary inquiry has been set for 2016 for the two men accused of killing three people on a farm near Castor.

Jason Klaus, 38, and Joshua Frank, 29, elected to be tried by Court of Queen’s Bench judge and jury. They both face first-degree murder charges in the deaths of Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus.

Gordon, 61, Sandra, 62, and Monica, 40, were believed to have died in a fire at the Klaus’s farm residence near Castor on Dec. 8, 2013. The remains of Gordon and Monica — Jason’s father and sister — were found on scene. However, Sandra’s remains were never found. Police believe her remains were destroyed in the fire.

The preliminary inquiry is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 29 to March 11, 2016. Preliminary inquiries are held to test the strength of the Crown’s case before heading to trial.

Crown prosecutor Maurice Collard told Judge Jim Mitchell in Red Deer provincial court on Wednesday that they had canvassed earlier dates that would work for both the Crown and the two defence counsels. However, February 2016 was the earliest that complied with everybody’s schedules.

Collard made a point of attempting to schedule a pre-trial conference within the next two weeks. The hope is that through discussions with defence counsel, they can reduce the time needed for the preliminary inquiry and find earlier dates that work for Crown and defence.

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