Two gangsters who shot six men to death in the Surrey Six mass murder of 2007 have filed a lawsuit against the provincial government saying they suffered numerous abuses while kept in segregation before their trial.
Matthew Johnston and Cody Haevischer, both members of the Red Scorpions gang, were convicted of six counts each of first-degree murder and one of conspiracy in connection with the execution-style shootings of six men in a Surrey apartment building in October 2007. They were sentenced to life in prison in December 2014.
In separate civil claims filed in B.C. Supreme Court last week, the two 30-year-olds allege that following their arrests in spring 2009, they spent more than a year in solitary confinement. Though in separate prisons, they both claim they were denied family visits and kept in cold cells smeared with blood, urine and feces. They also allege they were video recorded, even when using the toilet.
“Because he had no one to speak to and very little human contact, the plaintiff began talking to himself or singing to himself,” says Johnston’s claim.
Haevischer was held at Surrey Pretrial Centre and said the window in his cell was spray painted black and he wasn’t allowed to speak to his 12-year-old daughter for two months.
Both Johnston and Haevischer claim the RCMP directed prison officials to keep them in isolation.
Both were released from solitary in June 2010 after a B.C. Supreme Court ruling found the warden at Surrey Pretrial had breached Jamie Bacon’s rights while he was in segregation. (Bacon, also a Red Scorpion, is still awaiting trial in the Surrey Six murders).
Haevischer and Johnston are seeking unspecified damages for the alleged breaches to their Charter rights and say an award is necessary to ensure proper and safe treatment of those imprisoned in the future.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Haevischer and Johnston were convicted of murdering six men, four of whom had ties to the drug trade, and two of whom were innocent bystanders – 22-year-old apartment neighbour Christopher Mohan and gas fitter Ed Schellenberg, who was servicing fireplaces in the building.
Haevischer and Johnston are both appealing their murder convictions.