Man ac­cused of killing fam­ily claimed he spoke with dead sis­ter, aunt says

Edmonton Journal - - CITY+WEATHER -

RED DEER A cen­tral Al­berta man ac­cused of killing his fam­ily told an aunt his dead sis­ter was com­mu­ni­cat­ing with him about how she and her par­ents died.

Ja­son Klaus and Joshua Frank are each charged with three counts of first-de­gree mur­der in the deaths of Gor­don, San­dra and Mon­ica Klaus four years ago.

Klaus’s aunt, Wendy Berry, tes­ti­fied at his trial in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench that he told her his sis­ter’s spirit was send­ing him elec­tronic mes­sages with de­tails about the fam­ily’s mur­der.

Court has al­ready been told their farm­house near Cas­tor was en­gulfed in flames by the time fire crews ar­rived on Dec. 8, 2013.

The trial has also heard Klaus told po­lice Frank shot the vic­tims and set the house on fire.

Berry tes­ti­fied that Klaus out­lined to her at a Christ­mas gath­er­ing that year what his sis­ter told him from be­yond the grave, but made no men­tion of the killer’s name.

“He pro­ceeded to say he was hear­ing from Mon­ica through some sort of elec­tronic de­vice,” Berry tes­ti­fied Tues­day.

Her nephew told her he didn’t take his sis­ter’s mes­sages to po­lice be­cause she al­ways deleted them, Berry said. Klaus also told her the gun­man shot the fam­ily dog be­fore en­ter­ing the house.

Berry said Klaus said his sis­ter was shot in the body be­fore his fa­ther was shot in the head af­ter he came out from his bed­room.

Mon­ica Klaus was par­a­lyzed but still alive, so the killer shot her in the head be­fore also shoot­ing San­dra Klaus in the head, Klaus told the aunt.

He said the house was set on fire and the gun dumped in the river.

Ac­knowl­edg­ing he was al­ready un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion at that point, Klaus told his aunt he was “one step ahead” of po­lice thanks to the in­for­ma­tion he was re­ceiv­ing from his sis­ter’s spirit, Berry said.

She said the con­ver­sa­tion lasted be­tween 20 and 30 min­utes and ended when they were called up­stairs at her brother’s house for Christ­mas din­ner.

Berry also re­called that Klaus said his sis­ter told him the three vic­tims were dead be­fore the fire started and were at peace with Lisa, his sis­ter, who died when she was two years old.

Ear­lier Tues­day, Christo­pher Kerr, a civil­ian RCMP foren­sics ex­pert, told court he was able to con­firm the bul­let which killed the Klaus’s dog was fired from the same 9-mm hand­gun re­cov­ered from the Bat­tle River.

Odd Gun­der­son, who han­dles dogs trained to de­tect fire ac­cel­er­ants and hu­man re­mains, told court his dog iden­ti­fied 16 lo­ca­tions where re­mains and/or ac­cel­er­ants were found in and around the Klaus home af­ter the fire.

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