WINNIPEG -- After repeatedly stabbing Tim McLean aboard a Greyhound bus, Vincent Li proceeded to defile, dismember and eat parts of his body, a Winnipeg court heard yesterday.
Reading from an agreed statement of facts, Crown attorney Joyce Dalmyn revealed for the first time horrifying details of McLean's death last July aboard a Winnipeg-bound bus.
Li shuffled into the packed courtroom flanked by three sheriff's officers. He pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. The defence agrees Li killed McLean but argues that he is mentally ill and was not criminally responsible for his actions.
Court heard McLean, 23, was on his way back home to Winnipeg after a summer spent on the carnival circuit when Li boarded the bus at Erickson, a small town in western Manitoba.
Dalmyn said Li took a seat next to McLean following a stop between Brandon and Portage la Prairie.
At 8:30 p.m., about 20 km west of Portage, "Li began to repeatedly stab Tim McLean for no apparent reason," Dalmyn said.
"Tim McLean struggled and tried to escape, that is clear because he suffered a number of defensive wounds."
As passengers scrambled to escape the bus, "Li appeared to be preoccupied with Mr. McLean and continued to stab him as he lay on the floor," Dalmyn said.
Li attempted to exit the bus but was stopped by the driver who closed the door behind him, trapping Li inside.
The driver of a second bus told police he entered the bus and saw Li severing McLean's head. The driver fled the bus when he saw McLean could not be helped.
Witnesses said Li walked to the front of the bus holding McLean's head in one hand and a large knife in the other. A passing truck driver barricaded the door to prevent Li from leaving. Trapped inside the bus, Li continued to mutilate McLean.
Police at the scene said Li "appeared to smell, and then eat parts of (McLean's) flesh," Dalmyn told court. "He also appeared to lick blood from his fingers and hands."
Li deposited McLean's internal organs and various body parts about the bus before packaging them in white garbage bags.
Li jumped out a bus window shortly after 1 a.m. and was arrested by police. In Li's pocket police found a bag containing McLean's ear, nose and tongue.
Li, 40, immigrated to Canada in 2001 and lived for a time in Winnipeg before moving to Edmonton in 2006.
He has held a series of menial jobs, most recently as a newspaper carrier. Previous employers described Li as a "good worker, though somewhat unusual."
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