Man sentenced to six murders in Surrey has died in prison

Matthew Johnston, who was convicted along with his co-defendant Cody Haevischer in the Surrey Six murders, has died in prison.

content of the article

A man convicted in the infamous Surrey Six Gangland murder case has died in prison while awaiting the outcome of an appeal brought before Canada’s highest court.

advertising 2

content of the article

Matthew James Johnston, 38, died of cancer early Thursday at the North Fraser Pretrial Center in Port Coquitlam, according to Brock Martland, an attorney for Johnston.

content of the article

“I had actually gone to see him with (co-counsel) Jonathan Desbarats the day before,” Martland said in an interview Friday. “I knew about his cancer, a very serious type of cancer that he was dealing with. But I had no idea it was him in the final moments.”

READ :  Crown argues against mistrial application from rapist after judge recused - Kamloops News

Martland said he had known about Johnston’s cancer diagnosis for several months.

At the time of his death, Johnston was awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court of Canada regarding an appeal of his convictions.

In October 2014, BC Supreme Court Justice Catherine Wedge found Johnston and his co-defendant Cody Rae Haevischer guilty of six counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder.

advertising 3

content of the article

A 2008 police surveillance photo of Matt Johnston outside an IHOP restaurant.
A 2008 police surveillance photo of Matt Johnston outside an IHOP restaurant. PNG

Johnston and Haevischer received the mandatory sentence of life in prison without the right to parole for 25 years.

The two men appealed their convictions, and in an unusual January 2021 ruling, the BC Court of Appeals overturned the convictions but also upheld the guilty verdicts.

The province’s highest court granted them a hearing before the BC Supreme Court to gather evidence of alleged police misconduct, giving them a chance to have their charges dropped.

The Crown appealed the ruling and in October the case went to the Supreme Court of Canada, which has reserved judgment on the matter.

Martland said he has approached the Crown to take action following Johnston’s death but expects Canada’s highest court to continue its work.

advertising 4

content of the article

“Given that Haevischer is alive and still dealing with his case, I would assume that the Supreme Court of Canada would simply proceed with the appeal and this will not change their course of action.”

READ :  Atlanta prosecutor seeks testimony from Flynn, Gingrich in 2020 election interference

In emails, the Department of Public Safety, the Attorney General and the BC Coroners Service confirmed the death of one person December 15 in North Fraser.

“Any death in custody is a tragedy and our thoughts are with that individual’s family and friends at this time,” the ministry’s email said.

The Coroners Service’s investigation is expected to investigate how, where, when and how the individual came to his unexpected death. Correctional officers will conduct a review of the circumstances.

After his conviction, Johnston had spent time in a Quebec jail, but the correctional authorities transferred him back to BC, where he was remanded in custody at a provincial correctional facility pending the outcome of his appeal.

advertising 5

content of the article

The Red Scorpions gangsters were convicted in the October 19, 2007 execution of rival Corey Lal, his brother Michael Lal, associates Eddie Narong and Ryan Bartolomeo, and bystanders Christopher Mohan and Ed Schellenberg.

All of the victims were lying defenseless on the floor of a suite in the Balmoral Tower in Surrey when they were fatally shot. The plan was to assassinate Corey Lal, and the gang’s motive was to show their strength, instill fear in their rivals, and expand their drug business.

[email protected]

READ :  Lawyer on the Spot's new LOTS24x7 campaign shares the plight of truck drivers in India

– with files from Kim Bolan

More news, less ads: Our in-depth journalism is possible thanks to the support of our subscribers. For just $3.50 per week you get unlimited Ad-Lite access to The Vancouver Sun, The Province, National Post and 13 other Canadian news sites. Support us by subscribing today: The Vancouver Sun | The province.

Display 1


Postmedia strives to maintain a vibrant but civilized forum for discussion and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour to be moderated before they appear on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We’ve turned on email notifications – you’ll now receive an email when you get a reply to your comment, there’s an update on a comment thread you follow, or when a user you follow comments follows. For more information and details on how to customize your email settings, see our Community Guidelines.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *