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Page last updated at 21:19 GMT, Friday, 1 August 2008 22:19 UK

Bus beheading suspect in court

Suspect Vince Weiguang Li in custody
Vince Weiguang Li has been charged with second-degree murder

A man suspected of beheading a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus in Canada has appeared in court in Manitoba charged with the killing.

Vince Weiguang Li, 40, is accused of second-degree murder. The motive for the attack is not known.

Mr Li said nothing in court but nodded when asked if he was exercising his right to remain silent.

Police have not yet formally identified the victim but friends have named him as 22-year old Tim McLean.

Mr Li, of Edmonton, Alberta, remained silent throughout the hearing in Portage la Prairie.

Police have offered no motive for the attack and prosecutors have requested a psychiatric assessment.

Mr Li will appear in court again on Tuesday after having an opportunity to speak to a lawyer.

Tributes

Crown attorney Larry Hodgkins says the suspect needs psychological evaluation

Eyewitnesses on board the bus, which was travelling through a desolate stretch of Canada's vast prairies, said the attacker stabbed the person sitting next to him 50 or 60 times.

He then severed his head with a large knife, reportedly brandishing the head to terrified passengers.

Friends of Mr McLean have paid tribute to him.

William Caron, whose brother was due to meet Mr McLean from the bus, told the Canadian Press that he had always tried to avoid trouble.

Picture of Tim McLean (From Myspace)
Friends say the victim is Tim McLean, but police have not confirmed this
"All the time I've known Tim, he's never been the type of guy to get into a fight. He always kept to himself when there's strangers around."

One friend told broadcaster CBC that Mr McLean was loved by many and called him a "ladies man".

In an e-mail to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a friend of Mr McLean, Jossie Kehler, told of her sadness.

"He has a lot of friends and they are all very upset he's gone, and they would like to say they miss him and he will always be in their hearts," she wrote.

Newly-established Facebook groups and Mr McLean's Myspace page have filled with messages of support for the victim's family after news of the horrific killing.

On Facebook, news of the killing led to hundreds of friends and well-wishers joining a tribute group.




SEE ALSO
Beheaded Canada bus man 'named'
01 Aug 08 |  Americas
Passenger beheaded on Canada bus
31 Jul 08 |  Americas
Country profile: Canada
12 Jun 08 |  Country profiles

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