Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston were on trial for the 2007 murders
By Angela Espinoza, News Editor
Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston were sentenced to life in prison on December 12, 2014 for the murders of six Surrey residents on October 19, 2007. On January 9, Cody and Johnston requested an appeal to their sentence.
The “Surrey Six” slayings consisted of Haevischer and Johnston walking into a Surrey highrise complex to kill target Corey Lal. Lal was supposedly a rival gang member of theirs who had yet to pay back a debt of $100,000. The other five victims were Cory’s brother Michael Lal, Ryan Bartolomeo, Edward Narong, Christopher Mohan, and Ed Schellenberg.
Media have reported that Michael Lal, Bartolomeo, and Narong had similar “criminal” lifestyles to Johnston and Haevischer, while Mohan and Schellenberg have been referred to as “innocent bystanders.”
Haevischer and Johnston were previously found guilty of six counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy in October 2014. Cody Haevischer’s brother, Justin, was charged on December 24, 2014 for helping the two flee the scene in 2007.
Haevischer and Johnston were members of the Red Scorpion gang, whose former leader Quang Vinh Thang “Michael” Le pled guilty in November 2013 to conspiracy regarding the murders and initially received a 12-year prison sentence. Le’s sentence has since been reduced to three years and one month.
Gang members Jamie Kyle Bacon and Sophon Sek are awaiting separate trials in connection to the murders, with Bacon’s set for May this year.
Haevischer and Johnston’s appeals come as a result of alleged misconduct by RCMP officers during their time awaiting trial in prison.
In June 2011, four RCMP officers received 20 charges, which included breach of trust and fraud, following the 2010 revelation that one of the officers, Sergeant Derek Brassington, had since had an affair with and impregnated a possible witness. The woman had previously had relationships with Bacon and Dennis Karbovanec, who pled guilty to second-degree murder in relation to the Surrey Six murders.
While Justice Catherine Wedge had stated in November that there was misconduct as Haevischer and Johnston awaited trial, convictions and sentences could still be made despite the complications.
“I am satisfied that the price of staying these convictions could not be worth the gain to our justice system,” Wedge said in November.
Since the charges were laid against Haevischer and Johnston, Christopher’s mother, Eileen Mohan, has spoken publicly several times against the two for the death of her son.
“The courts of BC has set a verdict that is loud and clear to gangsters who think they can walk into innocent people’s homes, steal the precious and innocent lives of their children, that they will be dealt with the highest consequences,” Mohan said after the December 12 sentencing.