Men who murdered family face 75 years without parole
RED DEER An Alberta man convicted along with a friend of killing his mother, father and sister denied he was a killer Monday, but expressed remorse for the “little involvement” he had in their deaths.
Jason Klaus, 42, and Joshua Frank, 32, were found guilty earlier this month on three charges of first-degree murder.
The bodies of Klaus’s father and sister were found in their burnedout farmhouse near Castor in December 2013 — his mother’s body was never found, but police believe she also died in the house.
“I did not kill my family and the little involvement that I did have I will regret for the rest of my life,” said Klaus, who choked back tears in a rambling apology during sentencing arguments before Justice Eric Macklin and a packed courtroom.
“I cannot express my sorrow about what has happened to my family, to your family. It will always be with me for the rest of my life.
“I won’t ever be able to say how sorry. I made a mistake that night. I loved my family.”
Klaus and Frank each blamed the other for the killings of Gordon Klaus, his wife Sandra Klaus and their daughter Monica Klaus. Both confessed to an undercover RCMP officer.
Court heard 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 Klaus would shoot him if he didn’t.
Frank gave a brief apology to members of both the Klaus family and his own.
“I’m truly, truly, truly sorry for your loss and all of the pain you’ve all had to endure and will have to endure and also to my family thank you for all the support and all the pain there and the hardship you’ve had to endure as well,” Frank said.
“I love you guys.”
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.
Crown prosecutor Doug Taylor told the court the two men should spend the rest of their lives — 75 years — in prison without a chance of parole for involvement for what he called “a contract killing of sorts.”
But the judge questioned why two men should spend more than 25 years in prison before being eligible
I did not kill my family and the little involvement that I did have I will regret for the rest of my life.
“Why are we taking this out of the hands of the parole board?” Macklin asked. “They’re the gatekeepers.”