Alberta man found guilty of killing family appealing conviction, sentence - InfoNews

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Alberta man found guilty of killing family appealing conviction, sentence

Marilyn Thompson, in red, sister of Gordon Klaus, leaves court with family and friends after Joshua Frank and Jason Klaus were sentenced in Red Deer, Alta., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 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, Alta. in December 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
March 02, 2018 - 2:15 PM

CALGARY - An Alberta man found guilty in the murders of his parents and sister is appealing his conviction and sentence.

The Alberta Court of Appeal in Calgary has confirmed that Jason Klaus has filed a notice of appeal.

Klaus and Joshua Frank were sentenced in February to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

The bodies of Klaus's father Gordon and sister Monica were found in their burned-out farmhouse in central Alberta in December 2013.

His mother Sandra's body was never found but police believe she also died in the house.

In January, Justice Eric Macklin convicted both Klaus and Frank on three counts of first-degree murder, saying each had played a crucial role in executing the plan.

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.

There are provisions in the Criminal Code to have sentences served one after the other for multiple murders. But Macklin ruled that although their crimes were horrific, delaying parole for Klaus and Frank would be "a decision out of the ordinary."

The judge said details of the case were not particularly uncommon compared with other murders and did not warrant consecutive sentences.

He also suggested that the two men would have a better chance of rehabilitation if they were not "bereft of hope."

During the trial, court heard that Klaus was having problems with his father and offered Frank money to kill the family. Klaus had a cocaine and gambling addiction and forged cheques on his parents account, promising to pay them back.

Frank told police after his arrest that he killed the family because he was scared that Klaus would shoot him if he didn't.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said they were sentenced in January

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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