As the trial for the Castor-area triple murder continues in Red Deer, on Thursday morning court heard audio recording of the arrest of Joshua Frank.
A voir dire is being held to determine the voluntariness of Frank. The same voir dire with held for co-accused Jason Klaus. That voir dire wrapped up this week.
Klaus has been 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.
Frank has also been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in relation to the deaths as well as one count of arson and one count of injuring or endangering an animal in relation to the shooting death of the family dog.
The remains of Gordon and Monica were found in what was left of a burnt-out house in Castor on Dec. 8th, 2013.
The body of Sandra has never been found and during a press conference in Calgary in 2014, RCMP Insp. Tony Hamori said police believe her remains were consumed by the fire.
Sgt. Simon Pillay, the officer who arrested Frank on Aug. 15th, 2014, took the stand this morning. Court heard a 96 minute audio recording of the events which transpired after Frank’s arrest until he was booked in at the downtown Red Deer RCMP Detachment.
Frank was arrested at his home in Castor just before noon on Aug. 15th, 2014.
“Hi Josh,” Pillay could be heard saying.
“What’s going on here?” Frank asked.
“You have been arrested for murder and other charges,” said Pillay.
“What? What?” said Frank. “There’s a been a huge mistake. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m supposed to be going to work today.”
Pillay then took Frank to a police car where he read Frank his rights.
“Josh Frank, you are under the arrest for the murders of Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus,” Pillay said.
“What?” Frank replied.
Pillay told Frank he was also charged with arson and injuring and endangering an animal.
“Oh my God,” Frank said.
Pillay asked Frank if he wanted to call a lawyer.
“Not right now – I just don’t understand,” said Frank.
Pillay encouraged Frank to exercise his rights.
“Right now you are charged with very serious offences. Do you want to call a lawyer?” he asked. “I am encouraging you to exercise all of your rights.”
Frank said, “I haven’t done anything so I don’t think I need to phone a lawyer.”
A short time later, Frank decided he wanted to go into the Stettler detachment to try and contact a lawyer, which he was successful in doing.
Pillay then took Frank to the Red Deer RCMP detachment where he was processed for booking.
Earlier in the morning Thursday, Sgt. Daniel McCullum testified that although Frank took a polygraph exam on May 5th, 2014 the test resulted in a false negative.
Allan Fay, lawyer for Jason, asked McCullum if he thought Frank was lying during the polygraph exam.
“That is my belief now,” he said.
McCullum said during the polygraph exam Frank was asked about his and Jason’s relationship.
“I believed there was a sexual relationship between the two. There was indication that Jason was bi-sexual,” he said, adding the information came from one of the teleconferences held during the investigation after an officer of the undercover team walked into Jason’s hotel room and Jason was painting his toenails.
“You are tossing around allegations that there are no basis for,” said Fay. “It is extremely prejudicial and damaging.
“What is the significance of a man painting his toenails?”
Pillay said there was no significance of the act on it’s own. “(Frank) became a drug mule for Jason Klaus at a young age and it made me wonder how he paid for his drug use,” he said, adding often in the drug trafficking business people are supplied with drugs for sexual favours.
“You made a leap of logic,” said Fay.
The trial continues in Red Deer.