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

Team BC defeats its hosts at junior curling nationals Sunday

Tyler Tardi and his team have played and won three games in the Canadian championships, so far.

UPDATE: Olympic softball qualifier to be held in Surrey

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

Surrey resident to speak about erasing Alzheimer’s disease stigma

A goal of Dona McMorland is to erase stigma attached to the disease

Vehicle rollover in Surrey

Surrey Fire Service responded to the collision on the 19500-block of 60 Avenue

VIDEO: Three-peat for Semiahmoo at basketball’s Surrey RCMP Classic

South Surrey-based squad tops Lord Tweedsmuir in final at Enver Creek gym

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Crash closes Coquihalla southbound lane south of Merritt

Accident occurred approximately 26 kilometres south of Merritt

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

Most Read