Photos shown of charred remains in Castor-area murder trial

Triple murder trial continues in Red Deer court

Graphic photos of charred remains as well as photos of the burnt-out Klaus family home were shown in Red Deer’s Court of Queen’s Bench on Thursday as the Castor-area triple murder trial continues.

Jason 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.

Joshua 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 Thursday, court was delayed as Jason fell ill and had to be seen by a nurse. Court got underway about 30 minutes late.

Const. Diana Stratton was the first officer on scene on Dec. 8th, 2013. She testified that she received a call to the farm about 7:10 a.m. on Dec. 8th, 2013 and arrived on scene just before 8 a.m.

She said the house was engulfed in flames and she located a deceased dog on the property in between the driveway and the home and there was a Jerrycan, which was partially melted from the heat of the fire, that was next to the house as well.

On scene she first set out to clear the outlying structures and Quonsets.

“When the sun started coming up I noticed the structure (the Klaus home) was disintegrating quickly so I took some photos,” said Stratton.

A number of photos were shown during proceedings on Thursday morning including aerial views of the farm taken by a drone and photos of what was left of the Klaus home as well as charred remains inside the home.

Stratton said a number of areas were flagged and preserved on the property including a small area where there was blood found and another area where a shell casing was found.

On Dec. 11th, 2013, Stratton testified it was her duty to ensure the remains of the two bodies and the dog were put on a transport truck to be taken to the medical examiner.

The trial continues in Red Deer court.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

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