RED DEER, Alta. – A central Alberta man accused of killing his parents and sister says he was lying when he confessed to an undercover RCMP officer that he helped plan their deaths.
Jason Klaus was testifying Wednesday in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.
He and Joshua Frank each face three counts of first-degree murder in the December 2013 deaths of Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus.
Klaus told court that he confessed to an undercover Mountie on June 2, 2014, so that he could move up the ranks of what he thought was a crime organization. It was actually an RCMP “Mr. Big” sting operation.
“Even though I didn’t commit any murders, if I told them I was involved in the planning, (Mr. Big) would make it go away,” Klaus testified.
“They would move me up in the organization … they would look after me.”
Klaus said he recanted the confession after becoming suspicious that the crime organization members he was associating with were actually police officers.
He said he came to the conclusion after they told him they had a USB drive containing DNA proof showing he was at the farm near Castor, Alta., the night his family was shot and the house burned down.
At one point, Klaus said he challenged a member of the crime family, asking him if he was a police officer. The man said no.
Court heard Klaus later texted the man to say he did not commit the crimes he had admitted to. He told the man the criminal organization was no longer for him.
“I denied that I was a part of it because for one thing it was not true,” Klaus testified. “(I also) believed they were cops.”
Klaus said his trust in the group was rebuilt later when he thought he was being considered for a promotion.
When Mr. Big said honesty was the key to moving up the ranks of his operation, Klaus confessed for a second time that he helped to plan the killings.
“I wanted to rise up and have all the bells and whistles, and the lifestyle they had, and to be part of this family,” he testified.
“I told him the real person that had done this was Josh Frank … that I just assisted in the planning of it.”
Klaus said the confession he gave to police following his arrest and two full days of interrogation in August 2014 was also false.
(RD News Now)