Free­dom granted to man who be­headed bus pas­sen­ger

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.