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Updated: Mon, 30 Sep 2013 10:49:20 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Surrey Six murder trial begins today



CBC

CBC

The trial of three men accused of gunning down six people in a Surrey high-rise in 2007 is scheduled to begin Monday in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.

Matthew James Johnson and Cody Rae Haevischer are charged with six counts of first-degree murder and Quang Vinh Thang (Michael) Le is facing one charge of first-degree murder. Two other men charged in the case, Jamie Kyle Bacon and Sophon Sek, will be tried separately at a later date.

The case dates back to Oct. 19, 2007, when six people were found dead in a 15th floor apartment of a Surrey high-rise in the 9800 block of East Whalley Ring Road.

- Read more about the slayings

Firefighters, who were first on the scene, initially thought they were responding to a deadly gas leak, but when they arrived, they found the bodies of six men killed in a bloody massacre.

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.

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

Two of the victims, Christopher Mohan, 22, and Ed Schellenberg, 55, were described as bystanders who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In April 2009, a man pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree murder for killing Mohan, Bartolomeo and Michael Lal, and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the six slayings, and was sentenced to life in prison.

- Jamie Bacon has been charged with one count of first-degree murder in the death of Corey Lal and conspiracy to murder charges.

- Sophon Sek is facing a manslaughter charge.

In addition, four RCMP officers are facing charges, including breach of trust, obstruction of justice and fraud, dating back to their handling of the Surrey Six slayings.

B.C.'s criminal justice branch appointed Victoria lawyer Christopher Considine as a special prosecutor in the investigation of the officers.

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