03/07/2013 09:04 EST | Updated 05/07/2013 05:12 EDT

Rafay, Burns Lose Final Chance To Overturn Murder Convictions

CP/Rafay Burns Appeal

Two B.C. men sentenced to 99 years in jail for the 1994 murder of a Seattle family have lost their final chance to have their conviction reviewed.

On Thursday the Washington State Supreme Court rejected Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns's request to re-examine their case. The two West Vancouver men were convicted in 2004 for the murder of Rafay's parents and sister.

The pair had previously appealed their conviction, arguing their convictions should be thrown out because much of the evidence was from a so-called "Mr. Big" sting conducted by the RCMP.

When that application failed, they asked for a review of the decision. Today, the court struck down that request.

Rafay and Burns became friends while attending high school in West Vancouver and were teens at the time of the killings. The jury at the men's six-month trial was told Rafay was motivated by money and planned the slayings while Burns carried them out.

The Mr. Big scenario is a controversial tactic in which undercover officers create the appearance of a criminal organization looking to recruit or do business with a suspect. Over the course of the operation officers elicit information about past crimes, often as proof of criminal veracity or in order to help eliminate evidence of that crime.