Freedom granted to man who beheaded bus passenger
A man who was found not criminally responsible for beheading and cannibalizing a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus has been granted his freedom.
Manitoba’s Criminal Code Review Board gave Will Baker, formerly known as Vince Li, an absolute discharge Friday, meaning he is no longer subject to monitoring.
Baker, a diagnosed schizophrenic, killed Tim McLean, a young carnival worker who was a complete stranger to Baker, in 2008.
McLean’s mother, Carol de Delley, has been outspoken against granting Baker freedom, saying there would be no way to ensure he continued to take his medication.
She declined comment in a post on Facebook Friday. “I have no words,” she posted. Baker was initially kept in a secure wing of a psychiatric hospital but was given more freedom every year.
He has been living on his own in a Winnipeg apartment since November, but was still subject to monitoring to ensure he took his medication.
Baker’s doctor, Jeffrey Waldman, told the board earlier this week that he is confident Baker will remain on his medication and will continue to work with his treatment team if released. Waldman testified that Baker knows it’s the medication that keeps his illness at bay.
In a written decision, the review board said it “is of the opinion that the weight of evidence does not substantiate that Mr. Baker poses a significant threat to the safety of the public.”
Waldman said Baker plans to visit his native China if released but would live in Winnipeg for the next two to three years. He is on the waiting list for a post-secondary training program and plans on establishing a career in the city.
Baker sat next to the 22-year-old McLean on the bus after the young man smiled at him and asked how he was doing.
Baker said he heard the voice of God telling him to kill the young carnival worker or “die immediately.”
He repeatedly stabbed McLean while the young man fought for his life. As passengers fled the bus, Baker continued stabbing and mutilating the body before he was arrested. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled i n 1999 that a review board must order an absolute discharge if a person doesn’t pose a significant threat to public safety.