Joshua Frank’s defence, Tonii Roulston, argued that Jason Klaus framed Joshua Frank and the Crown is relying heavily on the Mr. Big sting and when you look at the evidence there’s nothing to corroborate that Frank did the killings.
Roulston said Jason Klaus mimed the shooting in a way only a killer would. She said when he related the story of what happened, Klaus “says Monica’s eyes were moving back and forth and what is creepy about it he mimics that not just to Wendy Barry but to Keith Janes.”
She added that Klaus said his family “didn’t feel the burn” and the weapon was disposed of in the river.
Roulston said Klaus told Wendy Barry that he was “one step ahead of the investigation and that’s what Mr. Klaus tried to do, stay one step ahead of the investigation.”
She said Jason Klaus had rings worn by Monica and Sandra, claiming they gave them to him previously. He also said he found them in the debris of the rubble from the burned farmhouse but Roulston added that they were “perfectly clean.”
She argued that Joshua Frank didn’t kill the Klaus family and he just went along with Jason Klaus’s story to undercover officers.
“Mr Frank, whether it’s referencing ‘happy wife happy life’ he just has to participate, he just has to engage and be seen what he’s saying is relevant.”
She pointed out that Frank could tell believable elaborate lies with great detail.
“That’s because that’s what he does, he goes along… It’s typical of Mr. Frank to be agreeable.” Roulston argued that Frank didn’t know key details of the crime such as whether the 9 mm Ruger was loaded or unloaded when thrown into the river and Monica’s dog Patches hiding underneath the bed during the murders.
“At no point does Mr. Frank mention Patches. Who mentions Patches? Mr. Klaus.”
In addition, where investigators found traces of accelerant wasn’t where Frank said it was poured. Nor did he know where the entrance door to the house was during the re-enactment.
Roulston said Frank just parroted back Mr. Big’s comment that he’s a stone-cold killer.
“That’s the harm of Mr. Big (stings). It wants to encourage these types of behaviours. You have to be a big shot.”
Justice Eric Macklin, however, asked Ms. Roulston about Frank telling Mr. Big he picked the spot in the Battle River to dispose of the gun because he knew the river was open in that spot in the winter, there were weeds and it would be there for years and never traced back.
“That’s not parroting, that’s succinct detail,” said Justice Macklin.
Roulston argued that Frank was portraying to undercover officers that he’s “some sort of brilliant murderer, he’s familiar with the (river), ‘there’s weeds at the bottom, see how smart I am. I watch CSI 20 times.’ When people are being untruthful they are believable because they put in an element of (truth).”
The trial was heard by judge alone. Justice Eric Macklin reserved his verdict until Jan. 10, 2018 in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.
See related stories: ‘Klaus hired Frank to kill his family asserts Crown Prosecutor’ and ‘Family problems doesn’t prove murder says Klaus’s lawyer’