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Key witness takes stand in Surrey Six trial

Six men were killed in a mass slaying at the Balmoral Tower in North Surrey in 2007. - Leader file photo
Six men were killed in a mass slaying at the Balmoral Tower in North Surrey in 2007.
— image credit: Leader file photo

A key witness and former gangster who is serving two life sentences after admitting to two separate murders took the stand at the Surrey Six murder trial Monday.

The testimony is expected to be crucial in the Crown's case against Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston, who are currently on trial in connection with the mass murder of six men in a Surrey apartment on Oct. 19, 2007.

They have both pled not guilty to six counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of innocent bystanders Ed Schellenberg and Christopher Mohan, as well as Eddie Narong, Ryan Bartolomeo, and brothers Corey and Michael Lal, who had links to the drug trade.

The witness, who can only be identified as Person Y due to a publication ban, told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Wedge how he came to be Red Scorpion gangster Jamie Bacon's protector.

Person Y said he became involved in crime in the U.S. at about age 17. When he was deported back to Canada in 1999, he hoped to turn his life around and find legitimate work, he said, but "fell right back into the criminal lifestyle." His first stint in jail in Canada only drew him in further, Person Y testified.

"It was like going to school for criminals," he said, allowing him to meet and connect with people involved in organized crime.

He got involved in the "lucrative" dial-a-dope business, making more connections every time he went to prison.

"Jail is the number-one place to network," he told the court.

By 2006, Person Y said he was very well known, mainly for "being dangerous."

It was late that year when he met Bacon and the two became fast friends. Person Y said he became hooked on Oxycontin and Bacon moved him to a townhouse in Surrey to "dry out." They then arranged that Person Y would be security for Bacon. He helped Bacon expand his drug dealing business and would spend virtually every hour of every day with him.

"It was expected that Jamie was going to be killed at some point," Person Y testified. "My position was I was going to stop that from happening."

He said he was very close to Bacon in the months leading up to the Surrey Six murders and considered him family. (Bacon is also charged in the case but is being tried separately at a later date).

He described Jamie's brother Jarrod as having serious addiction issues and being unreliable, and his other brother Jonathan (who was since murdered in Kelowna) as living off Jamie. That left Jamie a "sitting duck," he said.

Jamie, said Person Y, wanted to be the most powerful drug dealer – the "top guy" who was feared by all.

"He wanted to be like Scarface," he said.

Attempts to join Bacon's crew with the Independent Soldiers gang failed in 2006, so they turned to the Red Scorpions (RS), which was then led by Mike Le. (Le pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder in the Surrey Six case late last year).

Person Y said the Bacon crew officially became RS members in 2007 during a meeting in a park in Coquitlam. Jamie Bacon, he said, passed around rules everyone was to read and follow. Person Y said Haevischer and Johnston were among the group who attended the meeting.

His testimony continues this afternoon and he's expected to be on the stand the rest of the week.

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