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.

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

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Death of man found on road in Abbotsford now deemed suspicious

Body found May 8 on North Parallel Road was initially labelled hit-and-run

A pair of rare peregrine falcons have returned to their nesting site at an Abbotsford quarry, resulting in increased concerns from opponents about their safety. (PHOTO: #savebcfalcons Instagram page)
Concerns escalate about rare peregrine falcons as blasting set for Abbotsford quarry

Opponents worried after birds return to nesting site at quarry on Quadling Road

Todd Richard sings “Green and Blue” as HHSES students get ready to belt out the chorus during the school’s Music Monday on May 3. He is currently in the running for a top 100 spot in the 2021 Toyota Searchlight competition. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Top 100 bound?: Harrison country artist Todd Richard vies for Toyota Searchlight prize

First round ends on May 20, votes can be submitted every day

The Abbotsford Law Courts (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Abbotsford man sentenced second time for sexual offence involving child

Bradley Roan Smith, 60, was previously convicted in 2016 of sexual interference

The mighty Fraser during freshet on May 2, 2021 at Island 22 Regional Park. A new B.C. coalition representing 25 organizations, and 273,000 people, is calling on B.C. to reverse decades of wildlife and habitat declines. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Chilliwack Progress)
Coalition calls on B.C. to invest in wildlife stewardship and habitat protection

Representing 25 organizations, and 273,000 people, they seek to reverse decades of declines

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Lorna Seip touches up the mural on the wall at MRSS, working with students from the Rainbow Club. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Rainbow club puts message of inclusion at Maple Ridge School’s main entrance

Maple Ridge secondary grad says SOGI symbols are powerful

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read