VANCOUVER — When former gang leader Michael Le was sentenced to another three years in custody for his role in a mass killing near Vancouver that left six people dead, his punishment was only directly related to the murder of a single person: a rival drug trafficker whose execution he helped plan.
But for Eileen Mohan — whose son Christopher was among two innocent bystanders also killed in a highrise condo in Surrey on Oct. 19, 2007 — it’s a meaningless distinction.
Mohan counts Le among the people responsible for her son’s death, and she told him so during an emotional sentencing hearing on Tuesday.
“You stole my son’s life right from the doorstep of our home,” Mohan said as she read from a victim impact statement.
“The blood that you spilled out of my son was my blood. The lifeless body you left behind was my flesh. The spirit of Christopher that was taken was my spirit.”
Quang Vinh Thang (Michael) Le, 28, pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to commit murder, making him the second person to admit involvement in one of British Columbia’s most notorious incidents of gang violence.
He was sentenced to 12 years, which was reduced to three years and one month after he received credit for time served. He was also accused of first-degree murder, but that charge was dropped as a result of his plea.
Le had been standing trial since late September along with Matthew Johnston and Cody Haevischer, whose murder trial is continuing. Johnston and Haevischer each face six counts of first-degree murder, as well as one count each of conspiracy.
Le was a founder and leader of the Red Scorpions, a violent gang that ran dial-a-dope drug trafficking operations throughout the Lower Mainland, court heard.
An agreed statement of facts submitted as part of Le’s sentencing said the killing began as an execution of a rival drug trafficker named Corey Lal.
Another five victims — including Mohan, the 22-year-old who lived across the hall from where the murders took place; and 55-year-old fireplace repairman Ed Schellenberg — were also killed to eliminate potential witnesses, court heard.
The agreed statement of facts said another Red Scorpions leader, Jamie Bacon, who has yet to stand trial, came to Le in September 2007 with a plan to kill Lal, who had failed to pay a $100,000 “tax” to the gang.