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Ex-girlfriend of accused murderer testifies at Surrey Six trial

Cody Haevischer (left) and Matthew Johnston in the prisoner
Cody Haevischer (left) and Matthew Johnston in the prisoner's box at B.C. Supreme Court.
— image credit: Leader file image

A former girlfriend of one of two accused murderers at the Surrey Six trial testified in court Monday that she not only became heavily involved in the drug trade while dating Cody Haevischer, but was well-respected and considered “one of the guys” amongst Red Scorpion gang members.

The woman, who can only be identified as K.M. due to a publication ban, is one of the Crown’s key witnesses.

She said met Cody Haevischer in late 2003 when she was in high school and working at a fast food restaurant. He went through the drive-thru, she testified, and she made fun of him because he was driving a “shitty” car.

Haevischer later came through in a black truck with co-accused Matthew Johnston, K.M. told the court. They would order a lot of food, which she came to understand wasn’t just for them, but taken back to a house full of other guys.

She and Haevischer, who she knew as Blake, eventually exchanged phone numbers and began dating.

Haevischer and Matthew Johnston are accused of first-degree murder in connection with the killing of six men at the Balmoral Tower apartment building in Surrey in 2007. Their trial, along with that of Michael Le – who pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to murder – began in late September in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.

K.M., who appeared nervous when she initially took the stand, told Madam Justice Catherine Wedge she didn’t know what Haevischer did for work when she first met him. Within a month or two she found out that he not only had a daughter, but that he was a crack cocaine dealer.

K.M. said in 2004 she was invited to a Coquitlam apartment where she met several Red Scorpion (RS) gang members, including Le. She testified there was a table in the corner with crack cocaine on it and a newspaper article about a shooting in Vancouver. K.M. said the men took credit for the shooting, and joked that they’d have to kill her now that she knew. Haevischer was the only “white guy” in the room, she said, while the rest were Asian.

She said Haevischer was originally from Nanaimo and came to the Lower Mainland to help a friend with a dial-a-dope operation.

In spring 2004, K.M. testified that Le offered her a job driving for the Red Scorpions. She took the offer and was making $150 per day delivering crack to customers, she said.

K.M. said her mom didn’t like her relationship with Haevischer. He drove a Lexus, K.M. said, and because he wasn’t a doctor, her mom believed he must be a drug dealer.

K.M. quit school and moved to an apartment in Surrey with five others, including Haevischer. It was a “work house,” she explained, where you would sleep and eat between drug-delivery shifts.

“It wasn’t like a home,” said K.M..

Eventually, she and Haevischer worked together on a drug line in New Westminster – a city she called “heaty,” meaning there was lots of police around. But the area was busy, she said, and was considered the “money-maker” of several dial-a-dope lines operated by the Red Scorpions.

She said Johnston, who was like a brother to Haevischer, wasn’t working at the time because he’d been in and out of jail and the cops knew him too well. But she said he took credit for helping found the RS gang.

K.M. said in 2005 and 2006 she took on a larger role with the gang. Le asked her to start a drug line in Langley, which failed. She was also responsible for finding stash houses, she said, which would require easy access, underground parking and two doors, so there’d be an escape route if busted by the police.

She said she was seen as more than a girlfriend by RS members.

“I was considered one of the guys,” K.M. testified.

She said the gang’s “inner circle” had RS tattoos and chunky white gold rings with RS on them. She said she didn’t get an RS tattoo, but that some of the guys joked she should because she was “harder” than some of the other gang members.

Later, K.M. said, after the Bacon brothers became affiliated with the gang, it seemed anyone could get the RS tattoo and they were being handed out “like candy.”

If you were a full member, K.M. explained, the gang would protect you and give money to your family if you were imprisoned. She recalled once when Le was in jail, she delivered money to his sister and girlfriend.

“It was a lot of money,” she said, estimating it could be as much as $10,000 a month.

The gang expanded in 2005-2006, said K.M., mostly at the urging of Le.

“Mike Le really liked money,” she testified, “and he wanted more.”

Additional dial-a-dope lines were started, mostly selling crack, she said, but they also began selling heroin in Richmond.

K.M. is expected to testify for several days.

Haevischer and Johnston are charged with six counts each of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of brothers Corey and Michael Lal, Edward Narong, Ryan Bartolomeo, Edward Schellenberg and Christopher Mohan.

The trial continues.

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