In a video interview played in Red Deer’s Court of Queen’s Bench, Jason Klaus told investigators that Joshua Frank admitted to killing Klaus’ family in December 2013.
Klaus has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of arson in relation to the deaths of his father Gordon Klaus, 61, his mother Sandra Klaus, 62 and his sister Monica Klaus, 40.
Frank has also been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in relation to the deaths as well as one count of arson and one count of injuring or endangering an animal in relation to the shooting death of the family dog.
The remains of Gordon and Monica were found in what was left of a burnt-out house in Castor on Dec. 8th, 2013.
The body of Sandra has never been found and during a press conference in Calgary in 2014, RCMP Insp. Tony Hamori said police believe her remains were consumed by the fire.
On Monday, court continued to watch hours of videotaped footage – this time after Jason was arrested on Aug. 16th, 2014. About five hours into the interview with police, Jason said Frank killed Jason’s family.
“He said he was the one who murdered my parents and sister,” Jason told Staff Sgt. Michael McCauley at the Red Deer RCMP detachment. “I got that out of him two or three different times.”
Jason said he tricked Frank into confessing.
“I told him that I had a bush camera set up and I caught him on my camera. He proceeded to tell me that he was the one that did it,” he said. “There was one incident with Monica and he could see I was upset – it was nothing out of the ordinary – he said he did this to free me up.”
McCauley asked Jason how he felt.
“I was very upset. I wanted to hurt him,” said Jason. “He threatened me that if I ratted him out that I would be next.”
Jason added Frank was also extorting him asking Jason to, “Pay up”, because he knew Jason was about to get some money.
“He said if I don’t give him money, I will be next. I was scared,” said Jason, adding Frank confessed to the murders a second time. “I recorded it but it didn’t come out very well.”
Earlier in Monday’s proceedings, Jason told investigators that he had been hearing from spirits – specifically from Monica. Jason spoke with Wendy Barry, the former wife of an uncle, and said Monica told him his family was at peace and all together and that they were dead before the fire.
Jason added the spirits also told him how his family died – Monica had to be shot twice and Gordon and Sandra were shot in their bed.
Sgt. Robert Kropp questioned Jason as to why he had not come forward with this information before then as they had interacted on many occasions since Dec. 8th, 2013.
“I talked to you numerous times and you never said you knew how they died,” Kropp said.
The trial continues in Red Deer’s Court of Queen’s Bench.