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

WATCH: Student-focused CAREERexpo returns to Red Deer

Annual event offers students opportunity to explore career possibilities

Pro Wrestling event looks to knock out cancer

Superclash against Cancer brings in some of Alberta’s top talent

Red Deer PCN Women’s Fun Run set for May 12th

The Mustard Seed School Lunch Program is the event’s ‘Charity of Choice’

UPDATED 2 Semi rollover on Hwy#2 causes traffic detour; one lane open

UPDATED 2 Exclusive photos of semi rollover clean-up on Hwy#2

NAFTA talks hold Foreign Affairs Minister in Washington, substitute heads to NATO summit

NAFTA talks keeping Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, sends substitute to NATO summit

Britain gives long-lost Franklin expedition ships to Canada, Inuit

Deeds to HMS Erebus and HMS Terror signed over to Canada and Inuit Heritage Trust

Grief over deadly Toronto van attack sinks in

Three days after rampage, people still gathering at memorial to lay flowers and honour victims

Liberals urged to tax e-commerce services like Netflix

Trudeau has been adamant that his government wouldn’t increase taxes on online subscriptions

Cartoonist captures public mood following Toronto, Humboldt tragedies

Cartoonist said he was trying to find a bit of positivity with an image that has garnered attention

Bill Cosby guilty in sexual assault case

Comedian convicted of drugging and molesting a woman

AACS receives funding from Red Deer County for life saving equipment

Red Deer County approved funding for $35,000 to AACS

Most Read