A B.C. Supreme Court judge has rejected an attmpt by Surrey Six killers Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston to have charges against them thrown out.

Judge rejects Surrey Six killers’ bid to have charges tossed

Two convicted murderers sought to have their charges stayed due to abuse of process.

The multiple murder convictions of Surrey Six killers Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston will stand now that their attempt to have the charges thrown out has been rejected by a B.C. Supreme Court judge, who called their crimes “horrific.”

Red Scorpion gangsters Haevischer and Johnston were found guilty on Oct. 2 of six counts each of first-degree murder and one of conspiracy to murder, but the verdicts had not been entered as they both sought a judicial stay of proceedings alleging abuse of process stemming from police misconduct during the Surrey Six investigation, as well as inhumane conditions the pair faced while in custody.

The Crown wanted the application dismissed without a hearing, arguing the allegations did not warrant throwing out six first-degree murder charges.

In her ruling Wednesday morning in Vancouver, Justice Catherine Wedge agreed there was misconduct, but said staying the murder charges “would be a disproportionate response” to the serious crimes committed by Haevischer and Johnston.

“In light of the number of victims and the motivation underlying the murders,” Wedge said in her 42-page written ruling, “society’s interest in seeing justice done on the merits of this case is profound. Society’s interest weighs all the more heavily in the context of this case because the carnage was the result of gang members fighting for turf in the illicit drug trade.

“I am satisfied that the price of staying these convictions could not be worth the gain to our justice system,” said Wedge.

In seeking the stay of proceedings, defence lawyers pointed to the Surrey Six investigation, during which several RCMP officers allegedly had sex with potential witnesses. Four officers are now facing criminal charges in connection with the allegations.

Wedge agreed the police misconduct was “serious, prolonged and systemic.” But it is not ongoing, she added, and was “promptly and severely dealt with.”

Haevischer and Johnston also alleged that following their arrests for the murders, they were were placed in solitary confinement for a prolonged period. Indeed, Wedge agreed, their conditions for their first 14 months in jail were “harsh in the extreme,” but she said once the conditions were recognized, the two were immediately moved into the general population in prison.

Haevischer and Johnston were found guilty in the Oct. 19, 2007 execution-style murders of rival drug dealer Corey Lal, his brother Michael, Ryan Bartolomeo, Eddie Narong, as well as Edward Schellenberg, who was servicing fireplaces in the Balmoral Tower apartment building that day, and Christopher Mohan, who lived next door to the death suite and was dragged from the hallway as he headed out to play basketball.

Eileen MohanChristopher’s mom Eileen Mohan (left) was in court Wednesday and said she never believed the judge would stay the charges against Haevisher and Johnston. As bad as the police misconduct may have been, she said, they did not go to someone’s doorstep and take innocent lives.

“My son’s life is way more precious than the mistreatment of these two criminals in prison,” Mohan said. “At some point, we have to come to a conclusion that if you are a criminal … your rights do not supersede our rights.”

Having Haevischer and Johnston’s guilty verdicts officially entered was meaningful for Mohan, who sat through months of often gruesome testimony since the trial began last fall.

“These two criminals had a hand in grabbing my son and mishandling him and in the end, taking his precious life, so this is very important to me,” she said, adding she will speak at the pair’s sentencing hearing.

She said she will now prepare for the trial of Jamie Bacon, who is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to murder Corey Lal in connection with the Surrey Six murders. That trial is scheduled for May.

Sophon Sek, is also charged with manslaughter in the case, but a trial date hasn’t been set.

Another man, who can only be identified as Person X, pleaded guilty in 2009 to three counts of second-degree murder in relation to the slaughter and is serving a life sentence with no parole for 15 years.

Michael Le was initially on trial alongside Haevischer and Johnston, but a year ago, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder Corey Lal and ended up testifying against his former Red Scorpion gang associates.

Johnston and Haevischer will be sentenced Dec. 12. First-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Just Posted

Man facing seven charges after alleged threats at Surrey restaurant

Surrey RCMP say incident at Whalley business was ‘very traumatic’ for customers and employees

Record turnout for Five Corners concert in White Rock

Abba/Elton John/Billy Joel salute attracts an estimated 4,500 people

Witchazel rocks again with CD of ‘Lost Tapes’ from band’s ’80s glory days

Surrey bar a stage for ‘Cancer Killer Rock Party’ on Aug. 30

Delta police secure 94 charges in dial-a-dope bust

Seven people with ties to the Red Scorpion gang are facing drug and firearm charges

Early success sees Clayton farmers’ market looking to grow

The first half of the season exceeded expectations, and now the market could go to once a week

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Wildfire smoke blankets B.C. and Alberta, prompting air quality advisories

About 25 new wildfires were sparked between Monday morning and midday Tuesday

Most Read