08/18/2014 01:40 EDT | Updated 10/18/2014 05:59 EDT

Brief court appearance for Alberta man accused in deaths of parents and sister

RED DEER, Alta. - A central Alberta man accused in the deaths of three family members has made his first court appearance.

Jason Klaus, who is 38, was charged on the weekend in the slayings of his parents, Gordon and Sandra Klaus, and his sister Monica Klaus.

RCMP say the three were killed in a house fire in Castor last December.

Klaus, also from Castor, and his friend Joshua Frank are both charged with first-degree murder and arson.

The appeared in court via closed-circuit TV and are to remain in custody until their next appearance in Red Deer on Sept. 17.

Klaus kept his head bowed as the charges were read and Frank showed no emotion.

Some family members were in court and requested privacy.