Castor-area murder trial to begin in Red Deer next week

Jason Gordon Klaus and Joshua Gregory Frank accused of murdering Klaus’ family in 2013

The trial of two men accused of murdering a Castor-area family in 2013 is set to begin in Red Deer’s Court of Queen’s Bench on Tuesday.

Jason Gordon 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 Gregory 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, operations officer for the Calgary RCMP Major Crimes Unit, said police believe her remains were consumed by the fire.

Hamori added Jason was arrested in August 2014 at Monica’s residence in Stettler while Frank was arrested at his brother’s residence in Castor.

He said the arrests were made after a “Key piece of evidence” was found by an RCMP dive team from B.C. in Big Knife Provincial Park during a dive on July 26th and July 27th, 2014. He said that evidence played a major role in laying the charges against the two suspects.

Meanwhile, an application regarding a delay of proceedings in the case, also known as the Jordan decision, was filed in August, and was later denied in September.

The application, handed down by the Supreme Court of Canada, set out new guidelines for what constitutes a reasonable delay, with a ceiling of 18 months set for provincial court and 30 months in the Court of Queen’s Bench to go to trial after charges are laid.

The trial is scheduled to run through to Nov. 24th in Red Deer’s Court of Queen’s Bench.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com