RED DEER, Alta. — An Alberta man accused of killing three people has told court he was lying when he told police that he was the one who killed them.
Joshua Frank said the story he provided to under-cover investigators, and to police after his arrest, was given to him by the second man accused in the case.
Frank testified that Jason Klaus told him he was looking to become a full-time member of a criminal organization, but that he first needed to tie up any loose ends.
Frank could help, Klaus insisted, by backing up his story that it was Frank who shot and killed the trio, since that was what he’d told the crime organization.
Klaus and Frank each face three counts of first-degree murder in the Dec. 8, 2013, deaths of Klaus’s mother, father and sister.
Frank told court he agreed to tell the lie in order to get “out of his (Klaus’s) shadow.”
“I told a lot of lies, and those snowballed into more lies,” Frank told Klaus’s lawyer, Allan Fay, during cross-examination Saturday in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.
Gordon Klaus and his daughter, Monica, were found in a burned-out home in the Castor area. Sandra Klaus was never found, although police believe her body was also in the house.
Earlier in the trial Klaus testified it was Frank who shot them. He said his friend gunned them down during a botched attempt to steal a deer head.
Frank told court that when Klaus asked him to back up his story to the crime group, he asked Klaus why he’d told them Frank was the murderer.
“You’ve already been through police interviews, passed the polygraph … there should be no worry for you,” Frank said Klaus told him.
Frank will be back on the stand when the trial resumes on Monday.