Killer to tes­tify at Sur­rey Six mur­der trial

Ex- gang­ster pleads guilty to mur­ders in 2001 and 2003

Vancouver Sun - - FRONT PAGE - BY KIM BOLAN

A for­mer Red Scor­pion gang­ster who pleaded guilty to two counts of mur­der Tues­day says he will be a key wit­ness in the Sur­rey Six mur­der case when it goes to trial next year.

An­ton Hooites-Meurs­ing dis­closed to The Van­cou­ver Sun that he is the mys­te­ri­ous Per­son X who was named as an unin­dicted co-con­spir­a­tor when five other gang­sters were first charged in the Sur­rey Six case in April 2009.

Cpl. Dale Carr of the In­te­grated Homi­cide In­ves­ti­ga­tion Team said he could not com­ment on the iden­tity of a wit­ness in any mur­der case that is be­fore the courts.

But The Sun ob­tained the lat­est in­dict­ment in the Sur­rey Six prose­cu­tion and it now names Hooites-Meurs­ing as a con­spir­a­tor in the mur­der of one of the six vic­tims, Corey Lal, along with Den­nis Kar­bo­vanec, Jamie Ba­con, Cody Hae­vis­cher, Matt John­son and Mike Le.

Hooites-Meurs­ing told The Sun that he de­cided to co­op­er­ate in the high-pro­file mur­der case be­cause he wanted to make amends for more than 20 years as a crim­i­nal.

“ I chose to be­come a ‘ rat’ when it was abun­dantly clear that the game was fake and ev­ery­body in it were frauds, no real hon­our, no real friend­ship, noth­ing to ever be proud of,” Hooites-Meurs­ing said. “ I can­not speak fur­ther, but just want every­one to know that I will do ev­ery­thing that is within my power to be strong, to be clear and hon­est with noth­ing but true to what is my debt to so­ci­ety and in the hopes of find­ing jus­tice for those five fam­i­lies. May God bless them and all who are vic­tims of the sense­less vi­o­lence that is the price and costs of the gangs and drugs sub­cul­ture of the Lower Main­land.”

Hooites-Meurs­ing made a sur­prise ap­pear­ance in B. C. Supreme Court in New West­min­ster on Tues­day to plead guilty to two counts of first-de­gree mur­der in con­nec­tion with a 2001 Sur­rey slay­ing and a 2003 Ab­bots­ford mur­der.

In each case, court doc­u­ments in­di­cate other sus­pects were in­volved in the mur­ders. Po­lice con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate both slay­ings and oth­ers may be charged, Carr said out­side court.

“ Th­ese are on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions. We don’t just put th­ese cases in a box and close it. We are work­ing on gath­er­ing more ev­i­dence that would sup­port the lay­ing of ad­di­tional charges,” Carr said.

Un­der tight se­cu­rity, Hooites-Meurs­ing ap­peared in court­room 102 in New West­min­ster Tues­day morn­ing.

The 39-year-old pleaded guilty to the June 13, 2001 mur­der of 22-year-old Randy McLeod in Sur­rey and the ex­e­cu­tion of 19-year-old Gur­preet Singh ( Bobby) Re­hal on March 13, 2003 at his Ab­bots­ford home.

McLeod’s mur­der was re­lated to a drug rip-off, the court heard. And Re­hal’s was in re­tal­i­a­tion for an at­tempt on the life of Hooites-Meurs­ing’s friend at the time.

He also ad­mit­ted to the De­cem­ber 2002 stab­bing death out­side an Ab­bots­ford night­club of a United Na­tions gang as­so­ciate, though he wasn’t charged in the case. An­other out­stand­ing sec­ond-de­gree mur­der count against Hooites-Meurs­ing for shoot­ing his crime boss in 2003 was stayed.

Hooites-Meurs­ing got an au­to­matic life sen­tence with no hope of pa­role for 25 years from As­so­ciate Chief Jus­tice Pa­trick Dohm.

Both Crown lawyer Melissa Gille­spie and de­fence lawyer Joe Doyle said Hooites-Meurs­ing was ex­tremely re­morse­ful and had fully co­op­er­ated with po­lice.

Fam­i­lies of both vic­tims packed the court­room for the plea, in the same room used for the trial of se­rial killer Robert Pick­ton.

Hooites-Meurs­ing wore a grey hoodie, jeans and Nikes and kept his head down as the agreed state­ment of facts was read.

An­guished cries and wails were heard as de­tails of each killing were re­layed by the Crown.

Gille­spie read out an agreed state­ment of grisly facts. She said McLeod was liv­ing in a Sur­rey town­house com­plex near 127 and 66 Av­enue when he left home about 4: 30 p. m. on June 12, 2001.

The next day his mother re­ported him miss­ing. On June 15, his dad found his aban­doned truck in the park­ing lot of the Cana­dian Tire store in the 8100-block of 120th Street.

Eight days later, McLeod’s body was found in the bushes in the 25100-block of Fourth Av­enue in Lan­g­ley. An ob­ser­vant res­i­dent had no­ticed the bushes were flat­tened and dis­turbed and found McLeod, badly de­com­posed and without pants or shoes. His socks were clean, in­di­cat­ing he had been dumped.

He had a two-cen­time­tre wide black ny­lon strap around his neck and had been stran­gled.

Hooites-Meurs­ing ad­mit­ted he was asked by an­other man, uniden­ti­fied in court, to kill McLeod for a stash of co­caine, heroin and cash.

The two killers had in­vited McLeod to a meet­ing in the park­ing lot where his truck was later found, the court heard.

They put him in a head­lock and threw him in the back of a rental van, where he was bound. They went to his town­house, where Hooites-Meurs­ing broke in to find the drugs and about $ 10,000.

They drove McLeod to Zero

Fam­i­lies of both vic­tims packed the court­room for the plea, in the same room used for the trial of se­rial killer Robert Pick­ton. Hooites-Meurs­ing wore a grey hoodie, jeans and Nikes and kept his head down as the agreed state­ment of facts was read. An­guished cries and wails were heard as de­tails of each killing were re­layed by the Crown.

Av­enue near the Lan­g­ley-Sur­rey bor­der where they tried to fig­ure out what to do “ with Hooites-Meurs­ing ques­tion­ing the need to kill McLeod.” The other man wanted him dead.

So Hooites-Meurs­ing stran­gled McLeod and they dumped his body. Some of McLeod’s cloth­ing was re­moved be­cause Hooites-Meurs­ing was wor­ried his ac­com­plice had left DNA.

The sec­ond mur­der had a buildup of sev­eral months of vi­o­lent con­flict, Gille­spie said.

It started on Dec. 22, 2002 when Hooites-Meurs­ing and two men iden­ti­fied in court only as Male No. 1 and Male No. 2 went to the Luxor night­club in Ab­bots­ford. Ear­lier that evening, Hooites-Meurs­ing’s pal Ed­ward ( Skeeter) Rus­sell asked Hooites-Meurs­ing to keep Male No. 1 safe that night.

“ While in the Luxor night­club, Male No. 1 got into a fight with James Thiphavong and some of Thiphavong’s as­so­ci­ates and broth­ers. Dur­ing this fight, Male No. 1 was struck in the face with a bot­tle, which caused Male No. 1 to bleed,” Gille­spie said.

Both groups got tossed from the club and the fight con­tin­ued out­side.

“ Male No. 1 was out­num­bered, so Hooites-Meurs­ing, who had a knife in his pos­ses­sion, en­tered the fight,” she said. “ Hooites-Meurs­ing stabbed BonLeuth Thiphavong and his brother Souska­vath Thiphavong. BonLeuth Thiphavong died.”

Gille­spie did not ex­plain why Hooites-Meurs­ing was not charged in the stab­bing of the UN gang as­so­ciate.

But she said Rus­sell was shot on March 9, 2003, which Hooites-Meurs­ing and his friends be­lieved was in re­tal­i­a­tion for the Luxor stab­bing.

Within a week of the at­tempt on Rus­sell’s life, Rus­sell, Hooites-Meurs­ing and pals learned that Bobby Re­hal had told oth­ers he had ad­vance no­tice of the hit on Rus­sell. They were even given a tape of Re­hal mak­ing such claims “ and laugh­ing about it,” Gille­spie said.

So the group de­cided to kill Re­hal on March 13. They stole a car and drove to his Saturna Cres­cent fam­ily home in Ab­bots­ford. One man, uniden­ti­fied in court, was the shooter. An­other, who was not named ei­ther, drove the stolen car and Hooites-Meurs­ing was wait­ing in the get­away car a few blocks away.

The shooter got out at the house, went to the door and tried to force his way in, shoot­ing the teen in the face and torso with a hand-gun. Star­tled rel­a­tives and neigh­bours re­acted to the shots fired.

“ A large quan­tity of blood was ob­served by po­lice and EHS per­son­nel on the floor around Re­hal,” Gille­spie said. “ The win­dow to the left of the front door was bro­ken and three shell cas­ings were re­cov­ered on the ground in­side the front door.”

Gille­spie told Jus­tice Dohm that “ the fam­ily mem­bers and friends of the de­ceased Randy McLeod and Gur­preet Re­hal con­tinue to suf­fer pro­foundly as a re­sult of the sense­less death of their loved ones.”

She noted that Hooites-Meurs­ing had a pre­vi­ous record for firearms of­fences, coun­ter­feit­ing, fraud and pos­ses­sion for the pur­pose of traf­fick­ing.

“ The of­fences be­fore the court were com­mit­ted in 2001 and 2003 re­spec­tively. The po­lice had con­ducted in­ves­ti­ga­tions at the time of the of­fences re­gard­ing each of th­ese mat­ters. Re­cently An­ton Hooites-Meurs­ing co­op­er­ated with po­lice in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of th­ese mat­ters; as a re­sult of his co­op­er­a­tion, charges were laid,” Gille­spie said. “ He is very re­morse­ful for and wishes to be held ac­count­able for his ac­tions.”

Gille­spie ex­plained that a stay was be­ing en­tered in the Oc­to­ber 2003 shoot­ing of gang­ster John Lahn in Burn­aby.

Hooites-Meurs­ing ear­lier ad­mit­ted he pulled the trig­ger on Lahn, but said it was in self­de­fence. His first trial ended in a hung jury and his sec­ond ended with a mistrial af­ter the judge ruled the Crown’s con­duct in­ap­pro­pri­ate. Hooites-Meurs­ing was or­dered by the Supreme Court of Canada in Jan­uary 2009 to stand trial a third time.

Hooites-Meurs­ing has been as­so­ci­ated with gangs in Los An­ge­les and across the Lower Main­land. He was linked not only to the Red Scor­pi­ons and the Ba­con broth­ers, but also to the In­de­pen­dent Sol­diers and a num­ber of other organized crim­i­nals.

He was at the no­to­ri­ous Cas­tle Fun Park meet­ing back in De­cem­ber 2006 when Jamie Ba­con, Den­nis Kar­bo­vanec and Jeff Har­vey of the Red Scor­pi­ons were meet­ing with Randy Naicker and James Ri­ach of the In­de­pen­dent Sol­diers. Sev­eral of the meet­ing par­tic­i­pants are now in jail on a se­ries of charges.

An­ton Hooites-Meurs­ing, a for­mer mem­ber of the Red Scor­pi­ons gang who pleaded guilty Tues­day in New West­min­ster Supreme Court to first-de­gree mur­der in con­nec­tion with two mur­ders. Above, a re­cent photo. Be­low, pho­tos from a few years ago.

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