February 23rd, 2018

CP NewsAlert: Men who killed Alberta family won’t get parole chance for 25 years

By The Canadian Press on February 14, 2018.

Crown persecutor Doug Taylor, centre, leaves court after Joshua Frank and Jason Klaus were pronounced guilty by a judge in Red Deer, Alta., on January 10, 2018. The pair were found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Klaus's parents and sister in a rural home near Castor, Alberta in December 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

RED DEER, Alta. – An Alberta judge has ruled that two men found guilty of murdering three family members will not have to spend additional time in prison before they can apply for parole.

Jason Klaus, who is 42, and 32-year-old Joshua Frank have instead been sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years – which is automatic under the Criminal Code for first-degree murder.

Justice Eric Macklin told court in Red Deer, Alta., that the factors in the case were not particularly uncommon compared with other murder cases and did not warrant consecutive sentences.

The bodies of Klaus’s father and sister were found in their burned-out farmhouse near Castor, Alta., in December 2013 – his mother’s body was never found but police believe she also died in the house.

The Crown had argued that the two men deserved the maximum of 75 years without hope of parole for what the prosecution called a “contract killing of sorts.”

The defence said the murders weren’t as gruesome as other cases that resulted in consecutive parole ineligibilities.

There are provisions in the Criminal Code to have sentences served one after the other for multiple murders, but Macklin said delaying parole for Klaus and Frank would be “a decision out of the ordinary.”

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