Ten years after six men were killed in the worst gang slaying in British Columbia’s history — the so-called Surrey Six murders — the court proceedings are still dragging on.
On October 19, 2007, Corey and Michael Lal, Ryan Bartolomeo, Eddie Narong, Ed Schellenberg and Christopher Mohan were shot execution style at the Balmoral Tower on East Whalley Ring Road.
One of the men charged — alleged Red Scorpions gang member Jamie Bacon — has been in custody for nearly nine years and is still awaiting trial.
His lawyer filed an application asking for the charges to be stayed, arguing the delays have violated Bacon’s constitutional rights.
“I have to tell you, I’m frustrated,” said Eileen Mohan, whose son Chris was one of two victims with no links to gangs or drugs.
“I feel my son’s rights have been placed on the back burner.”
Steve Brown — whose brother-in-law Ed Schellenberg was also an innocent bystander — agrees it’s been maddening to watch the justice system move so slowly.
“The frustration of the never ending court drama,” he wrote in an email.
Ed Schellenberg was a father and husband who loved to hunt, fish and play hockey.
He was servicing a furnace in the apartment unit where the executions took place.
His pastor and friend, Jim Penner, says whenever someone from church needed a favour, Schellenberg always offered to help.
“He volunteered so much in people’s lives and in the church that when he passed, it was only fitting that we honour him,” Penner said.
“We dedicated a large gymnasium in his name and the plaque is still over the door in the gymnasium to honour him, because he gave so much.”
Penner says Schellenberg was a man of faith who cared deeply for his family.
“He read his bible every day before he went to work,” Penner said.
“He treated his wife and his children as if they were the most important things on the planet. He was a wonderful husband and a wonderful father.”
Whenever the calendar turns to Oct. 19, Eileen Mohan goes through the same painful routine.
“I have a mass for Christopher at St. Matthew’s Parish,” she said.
“Then, I go to visit his resting place. It’s just me and him in spirit.”
Eileen says she’ll try to keep her mind on happy memories.
“He was such a precious person,” she said.
“Most of all, he and I had a beautiful friendship. We were one body and one soul and when he was taken, a part of me was taken.”
Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston — who were each found guilty of six counts of first degree murder — are both appealing their convictions.
A person whose identity is protected by a publication ban pleaded guilty in 2009 to three counts of second degree murder.
He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years.
Michael Le — who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in 2013 — has now served out his prison sentence.
Sophon Sek — who helped the killers get into the building and pleaded guilty to break and enter — was sentenced in 2015 to a one year prison term.
The judge ordered the sentence be served consecutively with a six year sentence Sek received for unrelated drugs and gun charges.
There’s also the case of four RCMP officers who were charged in 2011 related to their conduct during the Surrey Six investigation.
They’re due in court on October 31 to fix a trial date.