EDITORIAL: Long wait for justice as Surrey Six murders hit 10-year anniversary

Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of what has become known as the Surrey Six murders – one of the most shocking and tragic events in Surrey history.

On Oct. 19, 2007, Eddie Narong, Corey and Michael Lal and Ryan Bartolomeo – all with gang connections – along with two innocent bystanders, Ed Schellenberg and Chris Mohan, were shot to death inside a suite at Surrey’s Balmoral Tower.

Since that day, arrests have been made, and four men have been convicted – one, who can now only be identified as Person X, has been serving a life sentence since 2009, having pleaded guilt to three counts of second-degree murder, while Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston were given life sentences in 2014 on first-degree murder charges.

Another, Michael Le, was handed a 12-year sentence after striking a plea deal, while a fifth, Jamie Bacon, still awaits trial in the much-delayed case.

And while much has changed in the world – as well as in Surrey, specifically – over the past decade, time has stood still for those involved, as the case itself continues its slow crawl through the justice system.

And while the families of the victims – especially those of Schellenberg and Mohan, both of whom were in the wrong place at the wrong time – can, by way of the aforementioned convictions, feel that in some ways justice has been served, it is not over, and closure won’t come for some time yet – Bacon’s trial is finally set to begin in March of next year, 10-and-a-half years after the murders.

The turtle derby that is the Canadian legal system has become so well-documented that one barely bats an eye when news of a trial delay – any trial – is announced.

It should be noted too, that if extra time is what it required to make sure the appropriate people are brought to justice, then it is time well spent.

But such realities are probably cold comfort for those like Eileen Mohan – mother of Chris – or the Schellenberg family, for whom it has been 10 years and a day since their loved ones last walked through the door.

For whatever it is worth, closure will come to them eventually, and the case will one day be closed for good, but for now, they’re merely asked to continue waiting, while the wheels of justice grind forward.

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