Central Alberta man's murder trial in deaths of parents, sister set to begin today

By rdnewsNOW staff
October 23, 2017 - 6:24am Updated: October 23, 2017 - 7:21am

RED DEER- After a two week delay, a triple-murder trial for a central Alberta man and a friend accused of setting his family's home on fire and killing his parents and sister gets underway today in Red Deer.

Jason Klaus is facing first-degree murder and arson charges.

The Klaus home near the small community of Castor was found burned to the ground in December 2013.

The remains of Gordon Klaus and his daughter, Monica, were identified in the remains.

The body of Gordon's wife, Sandra Klaus, was never found but it’s believed she was also in the home.

Co-accused Joshua Frank, who is 33, faces the same charges and is being tried along with Klaus, who is 42.

Frank is also accused of cruelty to an animal in the death of the Klaus family dog.

Both men have been in custody since they were arrested in August 2014.

Defence lawyers asked for the adjournment two weeks ago, arguing that the Crown missed its deadline to present evidence from an undercover sting.

Crown prosecutor Douglas Taylor, who was not assigned to the case until Aug. 29 after a previous prosecutor had resigned, said he worked to rectify the problem as soon as he was made aware of it.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Eric Macklin ruled disclosure was provided on a timely basis, but did note the Crown did not file its intent to lead with undercover evidence by an agreed-upon deadline.

Defence lawyers argued they would still need to review “hundreds of hours” of material to properly prepare, so Macklin delayed the trial's start date by two weeks.

(rdnewsNOW - The Canadian Press)

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