File Photo

UPDATED/VIDEO: Klaus, Frank sentenced to 25 years to life in prison

Castor-area triple homicide coming to a close in Red Deer

Jason Klaus and Joshua Frank have been handed a life sentence with no eligibility of parole for 25 years.

Justice Eric Macklin had the choice between 25, 50 or 75 years before possibility of parole.

Macklin delivered his sentence in the Castor-area triple homicide Wednesday after he heard submissions from the Crown and defence lawyers last month.

Macklin made it clear that Klaus and Frank would not be released from prison after 25 years automatically and would go through a rigorous parole system which by no means guarantees release — especially for those guilty of a triple-homicide.

Crown Prosecuter Douglas Taylor added just because they can, “Apply at 25 years, doesn’t mean they are going to get parole at 25 years, or ever for that matter.”

Allan Fay, defence lawyer for Klaus, said, “No one should walk away from this thinking that at 25 years, my client will walk out of jail. That will be up to the parole board.

“As Justice Macklin pointed out, there are very few multiple-murderers in Canadian jails who obtain parole at 25 years or very soon thereafter.”

Taylor, who had previously argued for a consecutive life sentence without the eligibility of parole for 75 years, said Justice Macklin’s decision was well-reasoned and extensive. He said he was not disappointed with the choice and that, “Sentencing is the province of the trial judge.

“The Crown made its submissions and we felt our submissions were appropriate. I gave him the ammunition he needed to consider the parole eligibility, whether it be concurrent or consecutive. He heard what we had to say and he clearly echoed what we had to say and he ruled as he did. I accept that.”

Fay said the decision is what he had asked for and was an, “Extremely well thought-out and reasoned decision by Justice Macklin.

“He considered all the factors that were necessary and imposed a sentence which reflected the egregious nature of the acts he found my client guilty of, but yet recognized that everyone is capable of redemption and rehabilitation. He left that possibility open.”

Josh Frank’s defence lawyer Toni Roulston said the choice was a, “Fair decision” and that it was,”Well reasoned and thorough.”

She said their next step is to review the decision and trial transcripts before they make any recommendations to their client.

Roulston did not comment on whether they were seeking to appeal the guilty verdict or the sentence.

The minimum sentence for first-degree murder in Canada is life in prison, without the possibility of parole for 25 years.

This means that if they were awarded consecutive sentences, both Frank and Klaus would have been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 75 years.

Following the sentencing hearing, Marilyn Thomson spoke for the Klaus family thanking several groups including the Castor Fire Department, the RCMP, the Major Crimes Investigation Unit, the undercover officers in the Mr. Big Sting, the Crown prosecutors, Brady Flett, Justice Eric Macklin, courthouse staff and security, Joy Brown, Victim Services, the media and the many family members and friends who helped them since this began.

“Although this does not bring Monica, Sandy and Gordon back, we are very grateful that justice has been served and that we now have the opportunity to move forward with our lives,” Thomson said.

Klaus was originally charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of arson in relation to the deaths of his father Gordon Klaus, 61, his mother Sandra Klaus, 62 and his sister Monica Klaus, 40.

Co-accused Frank had also originally been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in relation to the deaths.

The remains of Gordon and Monica Klaus were found in what was left of a burnt-out house in Castor on Dec. 8th, 2013. The body of Sandra Klaus hasn’t been found because police believe her remains were consumed by the fire.

todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com

Like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RedDeerExpress/and follow us on twitter at https://twitter.com/RedDeerExpress.

Just Posted

Reward offered to find man charged in 2006 murder

RCMP are offering up to $5000 for information leading to the arrest of Kevin Brown

Background checks required for retail cannabis locations

Strict rules and regulations for retail locations was announced at a press conference this morning

Adults and youths charged in multiple armed robberies

Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP solved multiple armed robberies investigations

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates one year out from 2019 Canada Games

Community gathers at Great Chief Park to commemorate Games milestone

Wetaskiwin RCMP: man defends himself from robbery with snow blower

Wetaskiwin RCMP looking for male aboriginal suspect in older green truck

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates one year out from 2019 Canada Games

Community gathers at Great Chief Park to commemorate Games milestone

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Trudeau family arrives in India for state visit

Seven-day visit includes meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Military seeks DNA experts to help ID missing war dead

Federal program recovers, identifies and arranges burials for Canada’s nearly 28,000 missing war dead

PHOTOS: CP Rail train derailment near Ellerslie Road

A train derailed on the south end of Edmonton closes streets

Most Canadians believe journalism plays critical role in democracy: poll

Survey suggests 94 per cent of Canadians feel journalism plays ‘important’ part

13 Russians charged in Mueller investigation

Special counsel alleges illegal meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election

Trump considers global steel tariffs, potentially hitting Canada

Canada is the United States’ biggest supplier of both steel and aluminum

Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux announce separation

Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux announced Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, that they have separated

Most Read