Greyhound killer seeking absolute discharge
By: Ruth Escarlan
A man who beheaded and cannibalized the passenger beside him in Manitoba seeks an absolute discharge after his annual Criminal Code Review Board hearing on Monday.
Vincent Li, now known as Will Baker, cut up and ate parts of 22-year-old Tim McLean’s body in 2008. He was found not criminally responsible for killing McLean because he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was sent to Selkirk Mental Health Centre.
The board will determine if Baker is stable enough to be given complete freedom because he no longer poses a threat to the public.
Since 2016, Baker has been living freely in the community with some restrictions such as: random drug tests, taking medication under supervision, disclosing his address to his medical team and not contacting McLean’s family.
“Mr. baker was hearing voices in which God was telling him that he was the Chinese Messiah and that his duty was to be the savior of the world and to rid the world of aliens,’’ said Chris Summerville, the CEO of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada.
Starting in 2009 and every year that followed, the Criminal Code Review Board assessed Baker’s behavior.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 1999 that a review board must order an absolute discharge if a person doesn’t pose a significant threat to public safety.
“Mr. Baker has resolved a mental treatment and medication… He realized shortly after treatment that he had a mental illness and he was horrified to learn what he had done. He was absolutely horrified, shameful, remorseful and still continues to be today,” said Summerville.
Summerville said “it’s very, very unlikely” Baker will commit another offense.
But some members Manitoba parliament are against the release.
“I hope Manitoba Criminal Code Review Board will deny Mr. Will Baker’s request, ‘’ James Bezan, said in a statement. ‘’To grant him absolute discharge, the lowest-level adult sentence that an offender can get, would be an insult to his victim’s family,” Bezan added.
The outcome of the hearing will be determined at 1:00 p.m. CDT.