Six people were killed in the Balmoral Tower in North Surrey in October

Six people were killed in the Balmoral Tower in North Surrey in October

UPDATE: Surrey Six murder conspirator gets three more years in jail

Michael Le, who admitted to having role in mass 2007 killing, gets nearly nine years credit for time he’s been in custody.



A sentence of 12 years has been handed down to Quang Vinh Thang (Michael) Le – who pleaded guilty to playing a role in the Surrey Six murders – but with credit for time already served, the admitted gang leader now faces just over three years in jail.

Chief Justice Austin Cullen delivered the sentence Tuesday afternoon in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, after earlier in the day hearing an agreed submission from Crown and defence lawyers recommending the 12-year sentence, minus double-time credit totalling nearly nine years for the four-and-a-half years Le has spent in custody.

Le pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to murder rival gang member Corey Lal. There is no minimum sentence for conspiracy to murder, and the maximum is a life sentence.

Lal was shot to death in the Balmoral Tower apartment on Oct. 19, 2007, along with five other men: his brother Michael, Ryan Bartolomeo, Edward Narong, Edward Schellenberg and Christopher Mohan.

Cullen said the planned murder of one person “exploded into a monstrous display of wanton, pitiless violence which stole the lives of six people … and caused enormous devastation to their remaining family and loved ones.”

Cullen said Le’s complicity in law was confined to the death of Corey Lal, but said his participation ultimately led to the deaths of the other five victims.

“As such, his moral complicity is high,” said Cullen.

Le apologized to the families of the victims in court Tuesday, saying while he didn’t deserve it, he hoped they’d one day be able to forgive him. The Lal brothers’ mom left the courtroom during the apology.

Jourdane Lal read an emotional victim impact statement in court earlier, saying her brothers were incredible young men with beautiful hearts and loving intentions. She said her kids have been robbed of knowing their uncles and that she’d had to watch her parents endure the nightmare of losing two of their children and the agony of the ensuing trial.

“I’ve been told that time heals everything, but I’m still waiting,” Jourdane said, noting it had been exactly 2,248 days since the murders.

Eileen Mohan, mom of Surrey victim Christopher Mohan, also read a statement in court, saying her only son “made me fall in love with him every single day.”

She said Le’s guilty plea doesn’t erase what happened on Oct. 19, 2007.

“The blood that you spilled out of my son was my blood. The lifeless body you left behind was my flesh. The spirit in Christopher that was taken was my spirit,” she said to Le. “There’s some wounds that time cannot heal.”

Mohan told Le she hoped he would one day have a son so he could experience what real love feels like.

Though they were not read in court, several other family members of the six victims also submitted victim impact statements, including Bartolomeo’s mom, the Lals’ mother, father and sister, and Narong’s sister.

Lois Schellenberg, wife of Abbotsford’s Ed Schellenberg, who was repairing gas fireplaces in the building on the day of the murders, called her husband “thoughtful, loving and kind.”

She said he was her best friend and that his death changed the lives of their family forever.

“When I think of our children it breaks my heart to think Ed won’t be able to walk Rachel down the aisle on her wedding day, he would have been so proud to do that,” Lois Schellenberg wrote.

“He will also not get to see the amazing man his son will become,” she added, saying the two men were “peas in a pod” with their love of athletics and the outdoors.

Rachel Schellenberg wrote about her “beautiful” and “amazing” father whose absence has left a hole in her life.

“There’s nothing to do but be. I’m surrounded by wonderful people, ones who care with unending love… but they’re not my daddy.”

There are publication bans in place that forbid the reporting of some details of the case.

The court heard Tuesday that the Surrey Six murders began as an intention to eliminate Corey Lal, a rival drug dealer, and send a message that the Red Scorpions gang wasn’t to be defied.

The court heard Le initially didn’t want Lal killed, but later agreed to the plot after associate Jamie Bacon suggested if they didn’t kill him, the gang would appear weak. Le spoke to others involved after the fact, and was shocked and angry that Eddie Narong, who was a friend, was among the dead.

The trial of Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston will continue in January. Each has pleaded not guilty to six counts of first-degree murder.

Bacon is also charged with conspiracy to murder in connection with Corey Lal’s death, but is being tried separately at a later date.

Just Posted

Satwinder Bains of Abbotsford is the recipient of the 2021 aculty Service Excellence Award from University of the Fraser Valley. (UFV photo)
Satwinder Bains receives UFV Faculty Service Excellence Award

Bains has guided South Asian Studies Institute as director since 2006

The City of Abbotsford has prepared a draft Urban Forest Strategy that is now headed to public consulation.
Draft plan adopted for managing Abbotsford’s urban forests over next 25 years

Urban Forest Strategy now heads to public-consultation process

Country music star Chris Lane stops in Abbotsford next February. (Submitted)
Country music star Chris Lane coming to Abbotsford

Multi-platinum artist bringing ‘Fill Them Boots’ to Abbotsford Centre on Feb. 19, 2022

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

The intersection of Blueridge Drive and Blue Jay Street is one of three intersections in Abbotsford approved for traffic lights this year. (Google Street View)
Traffic signals approved at 3 Abbotsford intersections

Projects part of $1.45M in road upgrades around community

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

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