Accused pleads not guilty in Greyhound beheading trial

A man accused of stabbing and then beheading a teenager on a Greyhound bus pleaded not guilty in court today. The psychiatrist said the man believed God was telling him to do it.
Last July, 36 terrified passengers watched as a man took a large hunting knife and stab Timothy McLean to death. The passengers rushed off of the Greyhound bus as the man beheaded the young McLean and walked to the front of the bus carrying his head.

The man is now on trial for second-degree murder.

Dr. Stanley Yaren told the court Vince Li, 40, heard the voice of God who told him to attack McLean, mutilate, and then cannibalize part of the body.

“A voice from God told him Mr. McLean was a force of evil and was about to execute him,” Yaren, a witness for the Crown, told the judge hearing the case.

Li pleaded not guilty to the charge of second-degree murder. Li’s legal council are arguing that their client is mentally ill and cannot be held criminally responsible for his actions.

Li was diagnosed as a schizophrenic by Yaren. Yaren told the court that Li continued to mutilate the body, believing it was still capable of coming back to life. Yaren said Li had no understanding that his actions were wrong. The Toronto Star reports:

“It would be in some sense easier if Mr. Li was an anti-social psychopath with a history of malicious behaviour, but he isn’t that. He is, as I’ve come to know him, a decent person. He is as much a victim of this horrendous illness … as Mr. McLean was a victim.”

McLean’s body bore the brunt of more than 100 wounds. Some parts of the body were so ravished that they could not be located.

The court was told that Li came to Canada from China in 2001 as an immigrant with no criminal past. He became a Canadian citizen in 2005. In 2006 he moved to Edmonton from Winnipeg.

Li worked as a caretaker in a church, as a supervisor at a McDonald’s restaurant and as a newspaper carrier. He often missed work because he took long road trips on the bus. His family dealt with long, rambling talks that prompted some to suggest medical treatment. Li refused.

Carol deDelley, mother of Tim McLean, wants the law changed so that anyone found not criminally responsible for a crime still serves time in detention.

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