RCMP told Jason Klaus they believe his parents and sister were each shot in the head before the family’s farm house was set ablaze in Dec. 2013, and that they believe he did it.
Sgt. Rob Kropp with RCMP Major Crimes South made this revelation to Klaus during one of the interviews that followed his arrest on Aug. 15, 2014 on three counts of first degree murder.
Video from that interview was played in Red Deer Provincial Court as week one of the triple murder trial for Klaus, 42, and Joshua Frank, 33, wrapped up Friday.
Kropp told Klaus they had “overwhelming evidence” that he was responsible for the deaths of his father Gordon, mother Sandra, and sister Monica.
But it was one piece of evidence in particular, Kropp explained, that prompted police to start their homicide investigation – the family dog was found shot to death near the burned out home.
Had it not been for that, Kropp admitted foul play may never have been suspected.
Also in the Aug. 2014 interview, Kropp laid out to Klaus some of the other pieces of evidence police gathered leading up to his arrest. They included his white GMC pickup truck found abandoned near the Battle River, and a firearm recovered from the river at a separate location near Halkirk.
Police also turned up a jerry can containing gasoline not far from the burned out home, along with expended shell casings.
Kropp also explained to Klaus that the forensic inspection of the burned out home lasted seven days, noting it went “well beyond typical” for a crime scene examination.
“This was a more thorough examination than anything I’ve seen,” Kropp, a 12-year homicide investigator at that point, said.
As Kropp laid out their case against him, Klaus showed little to no emotion, making minimal eye contact while staring at a screen showing pictures of some of the evidence.
The trial resumes Monday morning. Crown Prosecutor Douglas Taylor expects to finish presenting the evidence against Klaus sometime Tuesday afternoon, after which Klaus’ lawyer Alan Fay will have a chance to make presentations as part of the voir dire (trial within a trial to determine the admissibility of the evidence).
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