Trial draws to a close

Trial draws to a close

A six-week triple-murder trial full of twists is drawing to a close.

RCMP Cpl. Joany Paradis who acted as crime scene manager at the Klaus family farm, was the last person to testify Tuesday morning, bringing the evidence portion of the trial to a close.

On Wednesday, defence lawyers for Jason Klaus and Joshua Frank, and Crown prosecutors, will make their final submissions to Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Eric Macklin. Submissions are expected to take all day.

Then, Macklin will weigh the evidence and decide whether Frank and Klaus are guilty of three counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Klaus’ parents, Gordon and Sandra, and his sister Monica in December 2013.

Paradis testified Tuesday that she was involved in marking the location of a frozen red substance found in the snow near the Klaus’ burned-out house on the farm, about 10 km northeast of Castor. The stain was later identified as Jason Klaus’ blood.

A team of three Crown prosecutors have been assigned to the trial. They have accused Klaus and Frank of planning the murders together, with Frank firing the fatal shots on the morning of Dec. 8, 2013. Shortly after, the Klaus farmhouse was burned to the ground in an effort to destroy evidence, the Crown has argued.

Testifying in his own defence, Klaus denied killing his family. He was lying when he told undercover police officers he had arranged the killings. Likewise, a confession given to RCMP after hours of questioning the day following his Aug. 15, 2014, arrest, was false, he testified.

Frank testified a detailed confession he gave a police undercover officer during a four-month RCMP Mr. Big sting in mid-2014 was a lie told to help Klaus establish himself with the supposed criminal organization.

Klaus blamed Frank for the killings and the arson. Klaus testified he did not know what had happened that night until Frank told him several days after the fire.

Frank testified that Klaus was responsible for shooting his family and setting the fire. Frank said he had gone with Klaus hoping to get drugs when they wound up at the family farm. He had no idea that Klaus was going to kill his family, he testified.

Both men said they did not go to police with what they knew because they had each threatened the other with death if they spoke up.

The trial featured lengthy voir dires to establish the admissibility of evidence gathered during interviews with Klaus and Frank in the days after their arrests. Macklin ruled a portion of the interviews with Frank were not admissible because his repeated requests to use the bathroom were ignored for almost two hours.

Voir dires are often described as a trial within a trial to determine the admissibility of evidence.

A second voir dire focused on the Mr. Big evidence gathered from April to July 2014. Aimed at Klaus, the sting operation convinced him he was becoming involved with a criminal organization. Twenty-six different “scenarios” involved Klaus, who had more than 150 hours of contact with undercover officers.

In the 14th scenario, Klaus confessed that he planned the murder of his family but did not pull the trigger. He would later repeat that version of events in a meeting with Mr. Big.

Castormurder

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

Just Posted

Lieutenant Commander Nicole Robichaud welcomes members of the Liberian Coast Guard aboard the HMCS Moncton for training with Royal Canadian Navy off the coast of Monrovia, Liberia, Africa. (Contributed photo by Corp. Ryan Moulton)
Red Deer-raised woman finds her sea legs as commander in the Royal Canadian Navy

Cdr. Nicole Robichaud started out as a local sea cadet

Rode
Feddema adds size and grit to RDC basketball Queens

Iris Feddema has known for several years what she wanted her future… Continue reading

A local photographer captured the contrails of two planes that crossed in the sky over north Red Deer on Wednesday. (Photo contributed by Eric Fischer)
Photo: Planes criss-cross over Red Deer

A local photographer captured the contrails of two planes that crossed in… 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

A man injects hydromorphone at the Providence Health Care Crosstown Clinic in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday April 6, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
NDP lawmaker tables bill to decriminalize drug use as overdose deaths soar

NDP lawmaker tables bill to decriminalize drug use as overdose deaths soar

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Low-carbon bucks: Conservatives pitch consumer carbon pricing through savings account

Low-carbon bucks: Conservatives pitch consumer carbon pricing through savings account

Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Howard Njoo responds to a question about vaccines during a weekly news conference, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021 in Ottawa. Njoo says a faster vaccine ramp-up alone would likely not have thwarted the third wave of COVID-19 in many parts of the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Ottawa’s COVID-19 vaccine point man aims to ensure more predictability for shipments

Ottawa’s COVID-19 vaccine point man aims to ensure more predictability for shipments

Evan Siddall is pictured in Ottawa on September 21, 2017. Former head of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. Evan Siddall has been named as the next chief executive for Alberta Investment Management Corp. He will succeed Kevin Uebelein. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AIMCo names former CMHC head Evan Siddall as next chief executive

AIMCo names former CMHC head Evan Siddall as next chief executive

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canadian home sales up 76% year-over-year, set new March record: CREA

Canadian home sales up 76% year-over-year, set new March record: CREA

WestJet president and CEO Ed Sims addresses the airline's annual meeting in Calgary, Tuesday, May 7, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
WestJet CEO Ed Sims finds Air Canada aid package ‘bittersweet’ as talks drag on

WestJet CEO Ed Sims finds Air Canada aid package ‘bittersweet’ as talks drag on

The TMX broadcast centre is shown in Toronto on May 9, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
S&P/TSX composite, Dow Jones and S&P 500 set record highs as mood rises on economy

S&P/TSX composite, Dow Jones and S&P 500 set record highs as mood rises on economy

A man wearing a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 checks his phone as the sun sets in English Bay in Vancouver on April 5, 2021. Canada's existing mobile phone services and consumer groups will get a landmark ruling from the CRTC this afternoon. The regulatory ruling could shift some of the market power held by Rogers, Bell and Telus, which collectively have more than 90 per cent of the country's subscribers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
CRTC to allow smaller wireless players better access to national networks

CRTC to allow smaller wireless players better access to national networks

Most Read