PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Manitoba – A Chinese immigrant accused of stabbing, beheading and cannibalizing another man on a Greyhound bus in Canada pleaded Tuesday in court for someone to "please kill me," and was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Vince Weiguang Li, who immigrated to Canada from China in 2004, is charged with second-degree murder in last Wednesday's slaying of 22-year-old carnival worker Tim McLean — an attack which witnesses aboard the bus said appeared to be unprovoked. He has yet to enter a plea.
Li was scheduled to appear Tuesday to determine whether he should undergo psychiatric testing, but the judge in Portage La Prairie adjourned the hearing for a short recess to allow a legal aid attorney to confer with him. Since his arrest, Li has declined to speak to prosecutors and his court-appointed attorney.
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When asked again by the judge after the recess if he wanted a lawyer, Li shook his head and then quietly said "please kill me," The Canadian Press reported.
Li's remark was heard by reporters and confirmed by court clerks, but was not acknowledged by the judge. He is due back in court Sept. 8.
Passengers on the bus described a horrific scene that began Wednesday night as they shuttled through the darkness along a desolate stretch of the TransCanada Highway about 12 miles (19 kilometers) from Portage La Prairie.
Thirty-seven passengers were aboard the Greyhound from Edmonton, Alberta, to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Some were napping and others watching "The Legend of Zorro" when Li attacked McLean, allegedly stabbing him dozens of times. As horrified passengers fled from the bus, Li severed McLean's head, displaying to some of the passengers gathered outside the bus, witnesses said. He then began hacking at the body.
A police officer at the scene reported seeing the attacker hacking off pieces of the victim's body and eating them, according to a police tape leaked on the Internet.
A church pastor, Tom Castor, who helped hire Li soon after he immigrated in 2004 with his wife, Anna, said the man never showed any sign of anger or emotional problems when he worked there as a custodian.
Church officials said they vetted Li by contacting references listed on his application and running a criminal record check.
More than 105,000 people have joined an online memorial group for McLean.