NEWS

Surrey 6: verdict expected at trial of Cody Haevischer, Matthew Johnston

10/02/2014 09:40 EDT | Updated 12/02/2014 05:59 EST
A B.C. Supreme Court justice is expected to deliver a verdict today in the so-called Surrey Six trial.

Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston have spent the past year on trial for six counts of first-degree murder related to the 2007 gangland slayings of six people in a Surrey, B.C. highrise.

Crown prosecutors have argued Johnston and Haevischer went to the apartment to kill Corey Lal because he failed to meet a deadline to repay a $100,000 drug debt,

The Crown says the pair also killed the other five people in the apartment, so there would be no witnesses to Lal's murder.

Last year, former Red Scorpions gang leader Michael Le pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Le's sentence was subsequently reduced to three years and one month after credit for time served. He then went on to testify against his former gang mates.

Two other men who were charged, Jamie Kyle Bacon and Sophon Sek, will be tried separately at a later date.

6 victims found dead in highrise

During the trial, firefighters, who were first on the scene, testified they initially thought they were responding to a deadly gas leak, but they found the bodies of six men dead in a 15th-floor apartment suite in the 9800 block of East Whalley Ring Road.

A total of 19 shots were fired in the massacre, which took place around 2:40 p.m. PT on Oct. 19, 2007.The bodies were found in two groups of three inside the apartment.

The six all had their heads covered and shots were fired directly into the backs of the heads of three of the victims. One other was shot in the back, another in the head, and one in the face and neck.

Two of the victims — Christopher Mohan, 22, and Ed Schellenberg, 55 — were innocent bystanders. Police say the two happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The other four victims, Ryan Bartolomeo,19, brothers Michael Lal, 26, and Cory Lal, 21, and Edward Narong, 22, were described by police as having criminal lifestyles.

At the time, Metro Vancouver was in the grips of a violent gang war dominated by a deadly rivalry between the Red Scorpions and the UN gangs.

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