Crown persecutor Doug Taylor, centre, leaves court after Joshua Frank and Jason Klaus were pronounced guilty by a judge in Red Deer, Alta., Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. The pair were found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Klaus’s parents and sister in a rural home near Castor, Alberta in December 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Two men guilty in murders of Alberta family could face 75 years

The pair were found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Klaus’s parents and sister in a rural home near Castor, Alberta

An Alberta judge is expected to hear arguments today that two men who murdered three family members and burned their bodies should spend the rest of their lives in prison without parole.

Jason Klaus, 42, and Joshua Frank, 32, were found guilty earlier this month on three charges of first-degree murder.

The bodies of Gordon Klaus and his daughter, Monica, were found in their burned-out farmhouse near Castor, Alta., in December 2013. Sandra Klaus was never found, although police believe her body was also in the house.

The victims were Jason Klaus’s father, mother and sister.

Crown prosecutor Doug Taylor said he will be seeking to keep both men behind bars for 75 years before either are eligible to apply for parole.

Life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years is automatic for first-degree murder, but there are provisions in the Criminal Code to have sentences served one after the other for multiple murders.

“Part of the reason that the legislation was enacted was to recognize the value of each individual life in a case like this,” Taylor said after the conviction.

“We feel it’s appropriate to be asking the court to impose consecutive penalties on counts two and three totalling what would be effectively life, no chance of parole, for 75 years.”

Klaus’s lawyer doesn’t think consecutive sentencing should apply.

“I’m hoping to avoid it. From what I have seen of the law where sentences of that kind have been imposed … there have been cases where there are truly horrifying facts not present in this particular case,” said Allan Fay after the verdict was released Jan. 10.

“I’m specifically referring to the Crowsnest triple-murder case that was recently decided in Lethbridge.”

Derek Saretzky was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 75 years last August after being convicted of three counts of first-degree murder for killing two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, her father Terry Blanchette and senior Hanne Meketech in the Crowsnest Pass in 2015.

Consecutive periods of parole ineligibility have also been imposed in Alberta in other triple-murder cases.

Douglas Garland was sentenced last February to life in prison without parole for 75 years for killing Alvin and Kathy Liknes and their five-year-old grandson, Nathan O’Brien, in 2014.

And armoured-car guard Travis Baumgartner was sentenced in September 2013 to life in prison with no chance at parole for 40 years for killing three of his colleagues during a robbery in a mall at the University of Alberta in June 2012.

Klaus and Frank each blamed the other for the killings and both had confessed to an undercover RCMP officer.

During the trial, court heard that Klaus was having problems with his father and offered Frank money to kill the family. Klaus had a cocaine and gambling addiction and forged cheques on his parents account, promising to pay them back.

Frank told police after his arrest that he did it because he was scared that Klaus would shoot him if he didn’t.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Military Vehicle Display and Swap Meet will bring over 40 military vehicle displays

People from across Alberta will head to Red Deer for 2nd annual event

Beach Buddy Program brings reading lakeside

Beach Buddy Program is run through the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library during the summer months

Sylvan Lake swimmer heading to Pan Pacific Championships

Elizabeth Moore will be competing at the games in Fiji Aug. 23-26.

Eckville Elementary teacher advocates positive mental health for young children

Jaleesa Grzech has written a series of books to help children deal with anxiety and stress

Harvest safety reminders from Lacombe County

Lacombe County reminds producers, residents and visitors to be safe during fall harvest operations.

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

WATCH: Pioneer Days runs all weekend at Sunnybrook Farm

Red Deerians brave the smoke to celebrate Sunybrook’s biggest event

Ride to Reynolds Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin

Smoky but awesome event celebrates everything ‘motorcycles;’ open Sat. Aug. 18 to 4 p.m.

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

Ponoka’s Ronnie Racing wins Hot August Night

About 15,000 people filled the Castrol Raceway stands at the motorsports complex

Vintage vehicle subject of RCMP search

Two Hills RCMP seek to identify owner of recovered 1940’s vehicle

Canada’s tax system unfairly favours wealthy, poll of CRA auditors suggests

Four of every five respondents think loopholes and tax credits built into the system benefit the rich

Banff’s Sunshine ski resort upset with proposed guidelines from Parks Canada

The plan would allow for more visitors but wouldn’t let Sunshine build additional facilities

Most Read