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Guilty plea at Surrey Six murder trial

Michael Le, one the accused in the 2007 Surrey Six murders in the Balmoral Tower apartment building, pleaded guilty Nov. 28 in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. - File Photo / The Leader
Michael Le, one the accused in the 2007 Surrey Six murders in the Balmoral Tower apartment building, pleaded guilty Nov. 28 in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.
— image credit: File Photo / The Leader

Six years after the execution of six people in a Surrey apartment building, one of three accused murderers currently on trial in the so-called Surrey Six case has entered a guilty plea.

On Thursday afternoon (Nov. 28) in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, Quang Vinh Thang (Michael) Le pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder Corey Lal.

Lal was shot to death in the Balmoral Tower apartment in North Surrey on Oct. 19, 2007, along with five other men: his brother Michael, Ryan Bartolomeo, Edward Narong, Edward Schellenberg and Christopher Mohan.

Le was also facing a first-degree murder charge for Corey Lal's death, which is expected to be stayed. A ban was also ordered Thursday on any photos, depictions or descriptions of Le – the reason for which cannot be reported.

Le, Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston have been on trial since late September. The trial was adjourned abruptly Monday after Le's intention to plead guilty was revealed in court. Those proceedings, however, were covered by an interim publication ban until he formally entered his plea.

Haevischer and Johnston are charged with six counts each of first-degree murder and one count apiece of conspiracy to murder Corey Lal.

The Crown contends Le and fellow accused gangster Jamie Bacon were the leaders of the Red Scorpion gang and ordered the murder of Corey Lal due to a drug turf dispute.

It's alleged Haevischer, Johnston and another man who can only be identified as Person X went to the Balmoral Apartment building intending to kill Corey Lal, and shot the others to death to ensure there were no witnesses. The court has heard gruesome details of their execution-style murders.

While four of the victims were alleged drug dealers, Mohan was an innocent resident of the building and Schellenberg was a gas fitter repairing fireplaces in the highrise that day.

Le's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Dec. 13.

Another man has already pleaded guilty in the case, and Bacon is being tried separately.

The trial of Haevischer and Johnston is expected to proceed Monday.

 

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