Jason Klaus, who was found guilty of killing his parents and sister, is appealing his conviction.
The Alberta Court of Appeal in Calgary confirmed with the ECA Review Monday that a lawyer on behalf of Klaus filed a notice of appeal on Jan. 31, 2018, which was three weeks after being found guilty and two weeks before being sentenced.
Klaus, 42, and his co-accused Joshua Frank, 32, were found guilty Jan. 10 of three counts of first degree murder. Klaus’s parents, Gordon, 61, and Sandra, 62, along with his sister Monica, 41, were shot in their farmhouse east of Castor Dec. 8, 2013. The house was then burned.
During a sentencing hearing Jan. 22, the crown argued that Klaus and Frank deserved to serve the three life sentences consecutively, which would have meant they wouldn’t be eligible to apply for parole for 75 years.
Justice Macklin, however, sentenced Klaus and Frank on Feb. 14 to serve their three life sentences concurrently, meaning they can apply for parole in 25 years. Their 25-year sentences started the day they were arrested in August 2014 so they can apply for parole in 2039.
Justice Macklin said ironically, the two accused’s behaviour in prison would be better if they had the hope of someday being granted parole and that they were more likely to be rehabilitated if they weren’t “bereft of hope.”
“Individuals who have no hope of ever achieving release arguably have much less deterrent to committing further crimes while incarcerated.”
During the six-week trial in Red Deer, the court heard that Jason Klaus had issues with his father and was forging cheques on his dad’s farm business account. Klaus was afraid of being disowned by his family so he hired Joshua Frank to kill them.
Justice Macklin, when sentencing the pair, said both offenders led anti-social lives.
“Mr. Klaus purchased and sold cocaine, and he admitted to taking sexual favours from women in exchange for cocaine. He possessed and traded in restricted and prohibited firearms, and was stealing money from his parents.
“Mr. Frank was unemployed, living off of the good graces of a bar/hotel manager who provided him with free lodging and supplied him with alcohol. It appears from the evidence that his limited money was going towards the use of drugs.”