BY RATTAN MALL
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Wedge found two Red Scorpion gangsters Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston each guilty of six counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in the 2007 Surrey Six murders.
That verdict was greeted with loud applause in the courtroom.
Innocent victims Chris Mohan, 22, a South Asian, and Edward J. Schellenberg, 55, of Abbotsford and four other victims who police say led criminal lifestyles – brothers Corey Jason Michael Lal, 21, and Michael Justin Lal, 26, and Edward (Eddie) Sousakhone Narong, 22, and Ryan Bartolomeo, 19 – were executed in typical gang-style fashion at Apartment 1505 of the Balmoral Towers at 9830 East Whalley Ring Road in Surrey on October 19, 2007.
Mohan’s mom, Eileen, waited with amazing patience, determination and courage for seven years to get justice for her beloved kid.
She told the media that it was a beautiful day and said she wanted to say to the judge, “Thank you very much for giving me the justice and Christopher the justice that he deserves.” She said she knew her son was smiling down today and that was a good feeling.
She lashed out at the gangsters, saying they had no respect for society and didn’t pay taxes.
First-degree murder means an automatic life sentence with no possibility of parole for 25 years. Conspiracy to commit murder has a maximum of life in prison.
Before sentencing the judge has to deal with an application from the lawyers of the accused that their Charter rights were violated during the police investigation.
MOHAN was on his way to a basketball game when he was forced into the apartment where the murders took place. Schellenberg was in the building to repar the fireplace and happened to be in that apartment.
The judge noted: “Both Mr. Johnston and Mr. Haevischer (along with Person X) went to suite 1505 with a common purpose, which was to kill Mr. Lal. When the trio arrived at suite 1505, they had to deal with not one, but four individuals in the suite. … The scene was an intense and dynamic one requiring ongoing vigilance of the three men, not only to maintain dominance over the persons already in the suite but to deal with the potential arrival of other unexpected visitors. All six victims were killed at the same time; immediately thereafter, the perpetrators fled.
“It is obvious that the two shooters were a substantial and integral cause of the victims’ deaths. The third person in the trio was backup to the other two; he was instrumental in managing the scene during those chaotic 15 or so minutes, dealing with unexpected arrivals and preventing eyewitnesses from escaping the scene. … His actions were also an essential, substantial and integral part of the killing of the victims.”
(See Rattan’s Rumble section for what went down over the past year in the case and what more remains.)
The full judgment: