VANCOUVER — Witness Helen Lee admitted Tuesday that she had been too scared to call police about suspicious men she saw on the day of the Surrey Six killings.
During cross-examination by lawyer Simon Buck, Lee said she learned of a “murder incident” at the Balmoral Tower on the evening of Oct. 19, several hours after the killings, from a friend who lives in the building and who had hosted the bible study Lee had attended earlier that day.
Lee testified Monday at the trial of three men charged with murder that she was nearly run over by a black BMW occupied by “scary men” wearing hoodies and leather gloves in the Balmoral parkade on the afternoon of the murders.
Buck asked her if she called police about the men after hearing from her friend there had been a murder.
“No, I thought I saw them, but at the time I was overwhelmed and I was scared so I didn’t phone right away,” Lee told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Wedge.
She testified that, a day after the killings, she prepared a written statement with her husband, a friend who had also seen the men, and the friend’s husband.
The two husbands took that statement to police. The two women’s names were not included in that statement because they had wanted to remain anonymous, the court heard. They gave formal statements to police a few days later.
Lee testified that the hooded men were in a black BMW 745 sedan.
Buck suggested Lee’s husband had helped her figure out what kind of car she had seen, but she insisted she recognized the BMW logo when she saw it in the parkade.
Buck asked her to draw the logo and her image was entered as an exhibit.
Buck, who is representing accused killer Cody Haevischer, also grilled Lee on her detailed testimony about walking into the parkade with her three-year-old son and seeing the BMW and later its occupants.
He suggested her testimony about two men getting out of the BMW was speculative and not based on what she saw.
“You did what you’ve always done, and deduced that they got out of the BMW,” Buck said.
“No, I saw them getting out of the BMW,” Lee replied.
“I am putting it to you that you did not see them get out of the BMW. Do you agree?”
“No,” Lee replied again.
Earlier, she told Crown prosecutor Kathleen McIntosh that she saw three men in hoodies and gloves who she thought might be thieves.
Lee also rejected suggestions that she associated all three men she saw with the BMW only after talking to her friend Young Mee Kim, who also attended the bible study and saw the men later.
Kim, 40, began her own testimony Tuesday detailing what time she arrived at the Balmoral. She will continue on the stand Wednesday morning.
Crown prosecutor Mark Levitz has told the court that accused killers Haevischer, Matt Johnston and someone known as Person X arrived at the Balmoral Tower about 2:25 p.m. on Oct. 19, 2007 and made their way to suite 1505 where they executed Corey and Michael Lal, Eddie Narong, Ryan Bartolomeo and bystanders Ed Schellenberg and Christopher Mohan.
The Crown submits that Haevischer, Johnston and Michael Le were targeting rival drug trafficker Corey Lal, but killed the others so there would be no witnesses.
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