B.C. judge declines to hear application to throw out gang murder convictions

A judge has declined to hear an abuse-of-process application from two gangsters who were seeking to throw out their murder convictions.

VANCOUVER — A judge has declined to hear an abuse-of-process application from two gangsters who were seeking to throw out their murder convictions.

Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston were convicted last month of six counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy in a shooting that left six people dead, including two innocent bystanders, in Surrey, B.C.

Their lawyers argued the behaviour of RCMP officers who investigated the murders and the conditions they faced in jail amounted to an abuse of process, and they asked that the murder charges be stayed.

B.C. Supreme Court Judge Catherine Wedge says there were serious abuses, both during the police investigation and while the men were in jail.

But she says those problems do not justify staying the charges and instead the convictions will now be entered, clearing the way for sentencing of the two men.

The Crown’s theory at trial was that the murders began as a hit on a rival drug trafficker, but that five other victims, including two men with no ties to gangs or drugs, were killed to eliminate potential witnesses.