Klaus refuses to take polygraph exam months after family deaths

Triple murder trial continues in Red Deer’s Court of Queen’s Bench

Months after the deaths of a Castor-area family, Jason Klaus continued to refuse a polygraph exam as requested by investigators.

Day three of the trial against Klaus and Joshua Frank continued on Wednesday with Sgt. Robert Kropp remaining on the stand.

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, in December 2013.

Joshua 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.

On Monday, Crown Prosecutor Douglas Taylor entered into a voir dire to determine the voluntariness of Jason. That voir dire, which is held to determine admissibility of evidence, is expected to continue into the middle of next week.

Sgt. Robert Kropp, of the major crimes unit south branch, could be seen interviewing Jason on Feb. 16th, 2014. He asked Jason if he would consent to taking a polygraph exam at that time. Jason indicated he would not take an exam that day as he was following his lawyer’s instructions and he had been battling the flu for a number of days prior.

Kropp then introduced Jason to Sgt. Daniel McCullum, a polygraph examiner, and left the two to talk alone.

McCullum told Jason he had his equipment in another room and they could proceed with a polygraph exam if Jason consented. Again, Jason said he would not do the exam that day, but he did want to do it down the road.

“I want to talk to my lawyer. I still want to take it if it helps me carry on and takes me out of the picture, great,” said Jason.

McCullum then asked Jason about the relationship he had with his family.

“We were a close family. (Dad) was one of my best friends. Me and mom were closer – I was mom’s little boy. She was loving and always there for me,” he said. “(Monica) was my guardian. She was very strong and very independent. We were always there for one another.

“There is not one family that was like us. We did everything together. You have that for 38 years and then wake up and your life does a 180.”

McCullum asked Jason what he thought happened the night of the fire.

“Whatever happened was not planned that night,” said Jason. “I believe my deer head was taken (which Jason said was worth $200,000-$300,000 previously during recordings played at the trial). But why shoot the family dog? I can’t get over that. She would have protected if anyone was in danger, I’m sure of that.”

Later in his discussion with Jason, McCullum said police intended to get data and photographs from Google Earth and the government to see what traffic was in the area before, during and after the fire.

“It would be one more thing to corroborate strength for your alibi,” said McCullum.

McCullum then left the room and Kropp re-entered asking Jason again if he would be willing to take the polygraph exam that day.

“The longer the delay the more our attention is mis-focused,” Kropp said. “We want to eliminate people as quickly as possible.”

Jason said he would not take the exam that day, “But I’m pretty sure I’m going to go through with it.”

Kropp said at the end of the day it was Jason’s decision but would Jason want to read on the front page of the Stettler Independent a headline that says, ‘Son of deceased family refuses to take lie detector test’, indicating public perception might not be in his favour.

Meanwhile, court also heard the next interaction between Kropp and Jason – an audio recording on April 2nd, 2014. Kropp attended Jason’s residence with another officer asking if Jason would provide a DNA sample by consent.

“How have you been holding up?” Kropp asked. Jason replied, “Terrible. I just got off the phone with someone and I was crying in relation to my mom missing,” before questioning Kropp as to why he hadn’t heard from him regarding updates on the investigation.

“I talked to you about getting a polygaph but I thought you needed space,” said Kropp, adding investigators had found DNA evidence at the scene and asked Jason if he would provide his DNA.

“I’m not going to do anything without my lawyer. I am willing to cooperate but I’m not going to do anything without my lawyer – that is what I was advised,” said Jason.

The trial continues and is expected to run through to Nov. 24th.

See previous trial coverage: http://www.reddeerexpress.com/news/jason-klaus-recounts-hours-before-deaths-of-castor-area-family/.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

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

Just Posted

WATCH: Ronald McDonald House Central Alberta hosts Barnyard Breakfast

FortisAlberta makes $10,000 donation to House operations

Innisfail RCMP charge woman in connection with seizure of eight dogs

Karin Adams, 46, of no fixed address faces dozen charges

WATCH: Red Deer’s Westerner Days kicks off to a smoking hot start

Thousands take in the food, entertainment, rides and more at Westerner Park

WATCH: 2018 Westerner Days Parade brings 1000s to downtown Red Deer

The parade begins five days of western fun and culture in Central Alberta

Innisfail RCMP seize eight dogs from hotel room following earlier arrest

Dogs were in distress and taken to an animal rescue organization

WATCH: Tune into What’s Up Wednesday

An overview of the week’s news in Red Deer

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

U.S president had suggested that auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.

UPDATED: Airdrie man charged after Taser-like weapons seized

Canadian Border and Airdrie RCMP charged a man after an attempt to bring the weapons into Canada

Ontario, Saskatchewan premiers join together to oppose federal carbon plan

Saskatchewan is already involved in a court case over the tax

Sylvan Lake is moving toward a greener town

The Town of Sylvan Lake is moving forward with a contract with Fogdog Energy

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate theft of almost $140,000 value in Millet

Wetaskiwin RCMP respond to past break and enter at a rural Wetaskiwin property

After cave rescue, soccer boys pray for protection at Thai temple

On Wednesday evening, the boys and coach were released from hospital

Gymnastics sex abuse victims join hands, accept courage award at ESPYs

The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night

Two charged near Sundre after dog, cat, horse and five lambs stolen

Witnesses give valuable information to police, stolen property recovered

Most Read