Chris Mohan memorial. Photo by Chandra Bodalia
ON Thursday, all the speculation about the publication ban imposed on Monday was over as Red Scorpions gang leader Michael (Quang Vinh Thang) Le, 28, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in the Surrey Six murder case. The guilty plea was entered in court before B.C. Supreme Court Associate Austin Cullen.
Initially, Le had been charged with one count of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Consequently, a charge of first-degree murder for the murder of Corey Lal was stayed. A sentencing date for Le has to be set.
Le’s co-accused, Matthew James Johnson and Cody Rae Haevischer, are charged with six counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Another co-accused, Jamie Bacon, who will be tried separately, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Corey Lal and, along with Haevischer and Johnston, conspiracy to commit murder in Lal’s death.
A fifth accused, Sophon Sek, is charged with manslaughter in the case and his next court appearance takes place in January 2014.
AT the start of the trial two months ago, the Crown told B.C. Supreme Court that Red Scorpions gang members went to apartment 1505 of the Balmoral Towers at 9830 East Whalley Ring Road in Surrey on October 19, 2007, to kill a rival drug dealer Corey Lal because he had failed to pay $100,000 they had demanded from him for trafficking on their turf, and they killed five others to ensure that there would be no witnesses, the Crown told B.C. Supreme Court on Monday.
Innocent victims Chris Mohan, 22, and Edward J. Schellenberg, 55, of Abbotsford and four other victims who police said led criminal lifestyles – brothers Corey Lal, 21, and Michael Lal, 26, and Edward Narong, 22, and Ryan Bartolomeo, 19, were killed execution-style.