Convicted mass murderers Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston (above right in a court drawing)

Surrey Six murderers appeal convictions

Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston were found guilty last October of six counts of first-degree murder.

Two men found guilty last year in the mass murder of six people in a Surrey apartment in 2007 have filed appeals of their convictions.

Red Scorpions gang members Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston were both convicted in Vancouver Supreme Court in October of six counts of first-degree murder for the execution-style killings that took place at the Balmoral Tower apartment building Oct. 19, 2007.

Murdered were Corey Lal and his brother Michael, Eddie Narong, Ryan Bartolomeo, Edward Schellenberg and Christopher Mohan.

The Crown’s theory was Haevischer and Johnston plotted to kill rival drug dealer Corey Lal over a turf dispute, but that the others were killed to eliminate witnesses.

While some of the other victims had links to the drug trade, Schellenberg, 55, was a gas fitter who happened to be repairing fireplaces in the building that day, while Mohan, 22, lived in a neighbouring apartment and was heading out to play basketball when he was pulled into the death suite and shot to death.

During the trial, the court heard the killers had the victims lay face down on the floor with hoods over their heads before shooting them.

Johnston and Haevischer were sentenced to a mandatory term of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

They filed their conviction appeals on Thursday (Jan. 8) in the B.C. Court of Appeal.

Red Scorpion gang leader Michael Le was initially on trial with the pair before making a surprise guilty plea in December 2013 to conspiracy to murder Corey Lal and then testifying for the Crown against his co-accused.

Another man, who can only be identified as Person X, pleaded guilty in 2009 to second degree murder and is serving a life sentence.

Alleged Red Scorpion co-leader Jamie Bacon is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder in the case and is scheduled to be tried separately this spring.

Another person, Sophon Sek, is also charged with manslaughter in connection to the Surrey Six killings.