Manitoba

Vince Li could get absolute discharge

The man who was found not criminally responsible for beheading another man on a Greyhound bus could be given complete freedom after a Manitoba Criminal Code Review Board hearing on Monday.

Medical team to appear before Criminal Code Review Board Monday; have suggested increased freedom every year

Vince Li, the accused in the Greyhound bus beheading of Tim McLean, appears in a Portage La Prairie court Aug. 5, 2008. He was found not criminally responsible. (John Woods/Canadian Press)

The man who was found not criminally responsible for a beheading on a Greyhound bus could be given complete freedom after a Manitoba Criminal Code Review Board hearing on Monday. 

Vince Li, who now goes by the name Will Baker, has already been living free in the community with some conditions since last year. He killed 22-year-old Tim McLean on a Greyhound bus in 2008.
Tim McLean, 22, who was stabbed to death and beheaded by Vince Li, is seen in a photo taken from his MySpace.com personal page. (Canadian Press)

He could get an "absolute discharge," depending on what his medical team has to say at his annual review hearing.

Baker has to go before the Manitoba Criminal Review Board every year, as they determine whether a person who is found not criminally responsible poses a threat to the safety of the public.

Last year Baker was discharged with some conditions that included taking his medication under supervision, disclosing his address to his medical team, and having no contact with the victim's family. 
The man who beheaded a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus in 2008 could move to independent living in the community once his treatment team completes an assessment report and recommends he's ready to do so, according to a decision by the Manitoba Criminal Code Review Board. 2:41

The board's other option — if Baker is found not to be a threat to the public — is to grant an absolute discharge. He would no longer be required to attend annual reviews and or abide by conditions. Experts say NCR offenders are unlikely to reoffend

In 2008, Baker was sitting next to McLean on a bus near Portage la Prairie when he repeatedly stabbed McLean and mutilated his body.

He was found not criminally responsible because of his schizophrenia. Baker believed he was chosen by God to save people from an alien attack.

The not criminally responsible designation has been a fundamental principle of Canada's justice system since 1992. The accused persons must have the capacity to understand that what they did was wrong — otherwise they can't be found guilty of an offence.

Will Baker's allowed to: 

2016:  live independently in Winnipeg, with conditions

2015: live in a halfway house in Winnipeg.

2014: moved to unlocked ward. Allowed unescorted trips into Selkirk, beginning at 30 minutes and working up.

2013: supervised visits to Winnipeg and beaches near Selkirk.

2012: short, escorted outings from hospital.

2011: Doctors say Baker could be ready for unescorted walks on hospital grounds within a year. 

2010: Daily walks on hospital grounds.

Every change to Baker's conditions seems to prompt controversy, from McLean's family rallying for a law to change NCR rules, to a law professor complaining about meddling politicians.

McLean's mother, Carol de Delley, has been outspoken in her belief that Baker should stay locked up. 

Tim McLean's mother very disappointed with Manitoba Review Board decision. 4:20

But every year the review board has granted him more and more freedom, because doctors have labelled him a "model patient" and low risk to society. 

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.

The hearing, held in Winnipeg, begins at 1 p.m. 

RAW: Archie Kaiser says justice has been served in the case of Timothy McLean's killer 1:34