Delay in Surrey Six trial
Three of the five men charged in connection with the murder of six people in a Surrey highrise in 2007 won't face trial until mid-September, and trials for the others won't likely begin until after that.
Matthew Johnston, Cody Haevischer, and Quang Vinh Thang (Michael) Le are all charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the so-called Surrey Six case, in which four alleged gangsters and two innocent bystanders were killed at the Balmoral Tower apartments on Oct. 19, 2007.
The trio of accused murderers were initially scheduled to face trial in May, but on Thursday, that date was pushed back four months because of the volume of material lawyers have to review.
Jamie Bacon, charged with two counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, is being tried separately in Vancouver but a date has yet to be set in his case. Bacon pleaded not guilty last August.
Sophon Sek, charged with manslaughter, is scheduled to appear in Surrey Provincial Court next January.
While police believe four of the victims – Corey Lal, Michael Lal, Ryan Bartolomeo, and Edward Narong – were involved in gang activity, two were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In 2009, Dennis Karbovanec was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years after he pled guilty to three counts of second-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Karbovanec struck a plea deal that meant he would have a chance of leaving prison sooner than if he was convicted of first-degree murder.
Four RCMP officers investigating the case were also charged in 2011 with breach of trust and obstruction of justice after one of the officers allegedly had a relationship with a potential witness.