WINNIPEG — Experts are recommending a man who beheaded a fellow passenger aboard a Greyhound bus should be transferred from a mental facility to a Winnipeg hospital with an eye to moving him to a community group home.
It’s also being suggested that Vince Li be granted unescorted outings in the city.
Li’s psychiatrist, Dr. Steven Kremer, told a criminal code board review hearing Monday that Li has shown “profound improvement” and is at low risk to reoffend. Risk assessments done by several other doctors came to the same conclusion, the board heard.
Vince Weiguang Li is led into the Manitoba Provicial Court in Portage La Prairie, Man. on Friday Aug. 1, 2008. (Winnipeg Free Press – James Turner)
Li, 46, has not had any hallucinations in over a year and understands the need to take his medication, Kremer said. Should Li be transferred to a group home, staff there would ensure he continued the medication necessary to manage his schizophrenia, the doctor said.
“His likelihood to re-engage in violence is low.”
Li has been confined to a psychiatric institution north of Winnipeg since he was found not criminally responsible for stabbing, mutilating and beheading McLean on a bus to Winnipeg in July 2008. Li sat next to the 22-year-old McLean after the young man smiled at him and asked how he was doing.
Li said he heard the voice of God telling him to kill the young carnival worker or “die immediately.” Li repeatedly stabbed McLean who unsuccessfully fought for his life. As passengers fled the bus, Li continued stabbing and mutilating the body before he was arrested.
The review board has gradually given Li more freedom, including unescorted visits to Selkirk, Man., and escorted visits to Winnipeg and local beaches.
Li entered the hearing Monday unshackled, sitting and listening quietly while his case was discussed.
The board is expected to issue a decision within a week.
Ken Mackenzie, manager of the forensic mental health program at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, told the hearing Li has experienced some public backlash on unescorted outings, but was “able to manage it quite effectively.”