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‘Hectic’ moments after Surrey Six murders described by witness

Six men were murdered at the Balmoral Tower in North Surrey in October 2007. - Leader file photo
Six men were murdered at the Balmoral Tower in North Surrey in October 2007.
— image credit: Leader file photo

A key witness at the Surrey Six murder trial testified Tuesday that her ex-boyfriend Cody Haevischer wrote “people died” on a white board on the afternoon that six men were murdered in a Surrey highrise in October 2007.

Earlier in the day, Haevischer’s friend Matt Johnston showed up with Person X (who cannot be named due to a publication ban) at a unit at the Stanley apartment building in Surrey, said the female witness, who can only be identified as K.M.

She testified the two men were carrying “man bags.” They took took black gloves out the bags, she said, and there were handguns already on a table in the living room.

K.M. said she and Johnston used Windex and paper towels to clean one of two guns and bullets, which were then put back into the firearm. She explained she had cleaned guns and ammunition before, to rid them of any fingerprints in the event anyone was shot. Haevischer, she said, wasn’t helping with the guns, but was doing other things, including getting changed into dark clothing.

K.M. said there was no discussion about why they were cleaning the guns and the men “just kind of left” after that.

About an hour later, she testified, Haevischer and Johnston returned, dumping out a garbage bag of phones and money on the floor.

She said she began helping Johnston count money from the bag – between $4,000 and $5,000, she estimated. K.M. said she smelled something burning and went to the kitchen to see Haevischer boiling the phones in a pot of water on the stove. His brother Justin was with him, K.M. said, and Haevischer was writing notes to his brother on an erasable white board.

“He wrote ‘people died’,” she told the court, noting it was the first she’d heard of any deaths that day.

She didn’t ask any questions, she said, because it was extremely “hectic” and “tense.” Haevischer told her to do anything his brother said.

K.M. said she was told to grab a laundry bag containing the clothes Haevischer had been wearing, the boiled cellphones, and other items that came from the garbage bag. She and Justin Haevischer then bought a jerry can of gas and drove to a spot in Surrey. K.M. was concerned about the location because they had all been there the week prior beating someone up and neighbours had seen them.

A neighbour did approach K.M. and Justin, warning them that there had been an incident the week before, so they got back in the car, leaving the gasoline behind.

They bought more gas and found an empty lot off King George Boulevard where Justin Haevischer burned the laundry bag and its contents. The two returned to the Stanley, speaking to Johnston briefly as he drove away from the building.

Surveillance video is expected to be played in court Tuesday afternoon. It’s anticipated K.M. will be on the stand for up to two weeks.

Haevischer and Johnston are on trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver in connection with the execution-style murders of six men on Oct. 19, 2007 at the Balmoral Tower apartment building in North Surrey.

Michael Le was also on trial, but pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder last week. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 17.

Corey Lal, Michael Lal, Ryan Bartolomeo, Edward Narong, Christopher Mohan and Edward Schellenberg were shot to death in suite 1505 of the Balmoral. While the Lals, Bartolomeo and Narong are alleged to have drug ties, Schellenberg was a gas fitter working on fireplaces in the building, while Mohan lived in a neighbouring apartment.

The Crown alleges Haevischer, Johnston and Person X went to the Balmoral to kill Corey Lal over a drug turf dispute, but ended up shooting the other men so there would be no witnesses.

 

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