WINNIPEG — Vince Li, who now goes by Will Baker, was granted full discharge Friday afternoon. Baker was found not criminally responsible (NCR) for killing Tim McLean on a Greyhound bus in 2008.
Baker beheaded and cannibalized McLean while suffering a schizophrenic episode. Baker was found NCR for his actions, on account of mental disorder in 2009.
Because Baker was found NCR, he was eligible to apply for an absolute discharge which he was granted Friday afternoon, according to a report from Manitoba’s Criminal Code Review Board. This means he is no longer subject to any conditions.
Based on evidence presented at a recent hearing, the board feels Baker does not pose a significant threat to the safety of the public.
Full report from Manitoba’s Criminal Code Review Board:
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.
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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 in 1999 that a review board must order an absolute discharge if a person doesn’t pose a significant threat to public safety.
The ruling added there must be clear evidence of a significant risk to the public for the review board to continue imposing conditions after a person is found not criminally responsible.
With files from Global News