A major ruling was handed down in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Friday as a crucial confession from accused triple murderer Joshua Frank was deemed inadmissible as evidence.
Justice Eric Macklin issued his ruling on the voir dire - a trial within a trial - concerning the statements Frank made to RCMP in the interrogations following his arrest in Aug. 2014.
Frank and Jason Klaus are charged with three counts of first degree murder in the Dec. 2013 deaths of Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus.
Both men were interrogated in separate rooms at the Red Deer RCMP detachment following their arrest on Aug. 15, 2014. Klaus’ statements during his interrogations have already been deemed admissible as trial evidence.
Frank’s defence counsel, Andrea Urquhart, argued Wednesday that Frank’s confession was made under oppressive conditions because investigators denied him bathroom breaks.
The climax of Frank’s interview came when he tearfully admitted Klaus sexually abused him for three years starting when he was 14. That led to Frank breaking down and admitting he was the one who shot and killed Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus.
During the interview that led to his confession, Frank asked five times over the course of two hours to use the washroom. His requests were not answered by investigators.
Urquhart told court this means Frank’s statements were made under duress and that investigators were applying physical and psychological pressure in an attempt to get a confession.
Crown Prosecutor Douglas Taylor acknowledged the denial of bathroom breaks during the interview, but noted Frank showed no physical signs of discomfort.
Macklin admitted Wednesday he had much to think about before ruling on the admissibility of Frank’s confession.
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