Alleged gangster pleads guilty in Surrey high-rise slayings
Families of killed bystanders welcome break in case
An alleged member of the Red Scorpions gang has pleaded guilty to killing three of six people who were slain in a Surrey, B.C., high-rise a year and a half ago.
In B.C. Supreme Court on Friday, Dennis Karbovanec, 28, was charged with the second-degree murder of Christopher Mohan, 22, Ryan Bartolomeo, 19, and Michael Lal, 26, and immediately entered a guilty plea on all three counts.
Karbovanec and four others are also charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Corey Lal, 21. The others charged include Jamie Bacon, 23, Matt Johnson, Cody Haevischer and "Person X."
Karbovanec also entered a guilty plea in court on Friday to the conspiracy charge. He is being represented by high-profile Vancouver lawyer Len Doust, who told CBC News that Karbovanec will appear next Thursday in Supreme Court for sentencing on the murder and conspiracy charges.
'Half [of me] was saying it's a beautiful day today, and the other half of me was shattered in emotions.'— Eileen Mohan, mother of slain bystander
Meanwhile, Bacon was apparently arrested by an RCMP emergency response team after a raid was launched on his Abbotsford home Friday morning.
The RCMP have previously identified Karbovanec and Bacon, along with Bacon's brothers Jarrod and Jonathan, as key members of the Red Scorpions. The gang has been engaged in a violent struggle with the UN gang for control of the Lower Mainland's illegal drug trade.
The spokesman for the RCMP Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, Cpl. Dale Carr, said the complex investigation was finally cracked after 18 months of police work, and more arrests are expected.
"I can tell you that as we speak right now, there are additional arrests that are taking place, and there will be additional arrests throughout the weekend in connection to this file," Carr said Friday afternoon.
Six found slain in Surrey high-rise
On Oct. 19, 2007, six people were found dead in a 15th floor apartment of a Surrey high-rise on the 9800 block of East Whalley Ring Road.
Police described the crime scene as bloody and violent and said the killings appeared to be targeted and were likely related to the illegal drug trade.
Four of the victims, Corey and Michael Lal, Bartolomeo and Edward Narong, 22, were described by police as having criminal lifestyles.
But two of the victims were innocent bystanders who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, police said. Mohan lived in a nearby apartment, while Ed Schellenberg, 55, was a fireplace serviceman.
Christopher Mohan's mother, Eileen, said tears rolled down her face when she finally watched Karbovanec in court Friday morning.
"I was so much with mixed emotions. Half [of me] was saying it's a beautiful day today, and the other half of me was shattered in emotions, like, all these pieces were going everywhere and I don't know how to control them," Eileen Mohan told CBC News in a telephone interview.
Mohan has spearheaded a loud campaign to combat gang violence in the province since her son's death.
"So many days that I never envisioned that this day would come … and I know that Chris is smiling down on us and giving us some strength and passing his blessings to us," she said.
Steve Brown, Schellenberg's brother-in-law, told CBC News Thursday he was overwhelmed by the break in the case.
"For me right now, my head is spinning because I knew somebody was out there who killed Ed. Now there's going to be a face to put to that person and that's going to be a whole new thing for me to cope with, I think," said Brown.
The RCMP were expected to release further details of their investigation at a news conference scheduled for Saturday in Surrey.