The Alberta Court of Appeal ruled Feb. 8 that a judge erred by not applying consecutive parole eligibility for convicted killers Jason Klaus and Joshua Frank.
This means that Klaus and Frank have to serve 50 years in prison before they can apply for parole.
Crown prosecutors appealed the 25-year sentence for the two men who were found guilty in 2018. They believed the three life sentences should be consecutive and not concurrent.
In the split decision released the court said the sentences for the killings of Gordon and Sandra Klaus should be served concurrently but the murder of Monica should be punished with an additional 25 years of parole ineligibility
“The motives, the planning and deliberation and the calculated magnitude of these crimes is such that they stand out and indicate that denunciation in these cases requires what may amount to whole life sentences for both Klaus and Frank,” said Justice Jack Watson.
“The errors of principle found in the sentencing reasons require the Court of Appeal to sentence afresh. We are persuaded that, in the end, the disposition reached was disproportionate and unfit,” read the decision.
Klaus and Frank were convicted on three counts of first-degree murder January 2018 for the deaths of Jason Klaus’ parents Gordon, 61, and Sandra, 62, and his sister Monica Klaus, 40, on a farm near Castor on Dec. 8, 2013.
After a six-week trial in October to November 2017, Klaus and Frank were found guilty Jan. 22, 2018. They were sentenced Feb. 14, 2018, in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench by Justice Eric Macklin. Klaus and Frank were given three life sentences to served concurrently, which means they are eligible for parole after 25 years.
The crown asked that the three life sentences be served consecutively, which would have meant Klaus and Frank couldn’t apply for parole for 75 years but Justice Macklin said that would be unduly long and harsh.
Previously, both Klaus and Frank could apply for parole in 2039. Their 25-year sentence started the day they were arrested in August 2014. Now they must wait an additional 25 years.
Within weeks of the deaths of the Klaus family, RCMP suspected Jason Klaus was involved but they didn’t have enough evidence to charge him so Calgary RCMP Major Crimes conducted an undercover sting operation known as “Mr. Big.”
The four-month undercover operation targeting Klausm- dubbed Project Kontingent – included fancy dinners, golf games and trips to strip clubs and $12,000 in payouts.
RCMP ran Project Kontingent from April to July 2014 and had more than two dozen encounters and involved numerous different scenarios that were designed to convince Klaus he was part of a criminal organization.
RCMP secretly record Jason Klaus and Joshua Frank discuss taking the police to where the weapon used in the brutal murders was tossed.
Calgary RCMP Major Crimes conducted an undercover sting operation called “Mr. Big” and in this video RCMP secretly record Jason Klaus and Joshua Frank discuss taking the police to where the weapon used in the brutal murders was tossed.
In the videos above, (which were played in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench during the triple homicide trial November 2017 – January 2018) Joshua Frank thought he was meeting with an organized crime boss but in fact, it was an undercover RCMP officer. Here he calmly described the night he snuck into the Klaus farmhouse and shot Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus.
“Mr. Big” (undercover RCMP officer) asked, “So would it be safe to say you’re a stone-cold killer?”
Frank smiled and replied, “I guess.”
In the undercover RCMP video, Joshua Frank gives a play-by-play account of how he shot and killed the Klaus family at the request of Jason Klaus.