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But justices Peter Martin and Jack Watson said the addition of Klaus’ sister to the deadly plot required a more serious punishment.
“We are persuaded that the crimes of Klaus and Frank are not adequately represented in terms of proportionality and not adequately denounced by not distinguishing the killing of Klaus’ sister, which was an intentional extension of the main scheme,” they wrote.
Klaus hired Frank to fatally shoot his parents Gordon and Sandra, and his sister Monica in their farmhouse near Castor, about 140 kilometres east of Red Deer, on Dec. 8, 2013, and set the home ablaze for their life insurance and the property he would inherit.
Garland murdered Alvin and Kathy Liknes and their grandson, Nathan O’Brien, on June 30, 2014, after kidnapping the trio from the couple’s Calgary home, where their grandson was having a sleepover.
He was also sentenced to life in a federal penitentiary with three consecutive periods of parole ineligibility.
Martin and Watson agreed with Crown prosecutor Christine Rideout that given the circumstances of Garland’s crimes the punishment was justified.
“Given the seriousness of the offences, and the moral culpability of the appellant, the sentence is not unduly harsh or demonstrably unfit,” they said.
The judges who sentenced Garland, Klaus and Frank had the option of making their automatic periods of parole ineligibility of 25 years either concurrent, where they would run at the same time, or consecutive.