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Page last updated at 08:22 GMT, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 09:22 UK

Bus murder suspect says 'kill me'

Vince Weiguang Li, accused of beheading on bus, Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, Canada on 1 Aug, 2008
Vince Weiguang Li did not appear to know his victim, witnesses said

A man accused of beheading a fellow bus passenger in Canada has pleaded "please kill me", as he was asked by a judge if he wanted a lawyer.

Vince Weiguang Li has been ordered by the court to undergo psychiatric tests.

Mr Li, 40, is accused of second-degree murder after he allegedly stabbed and decapitated 22-year-old Tim McLean on a Greyhound bus on 31 July.

A prosecutor told the court that Mr Li was seen eating pieces of his victim and had body parts found in his pocket.

Tuesday's court hearing in Manitoba had earlier been adjourned to give Mr Li time to consult a lawyer.

Asked by the judge after the recess whether he wanted a lawyer, Mr Li was overheard by reporters and court officials saying "please kill me".

Police have suggested no motive for the attack last Wednesday, which happened in front of terrified passengers as the bus travelled through a desolate stretch of Canada's vast prairies.

They reported seeing Mr Li, a former church custodian, stab Mr McLean, who was sitting next to him, 50 or 60 times before cutting off his head.

Large knife

Prosecutor Joyce Dalmyn revealed grisly details of the attack as she argued for a psychiatric evaluation for the accused.

He seemed like a person who was happy to have a job, was committed to doing it well and didn't stand out in any way
Tom Castor
Church pastor

She said Mr Li had severed the victim's head with a large knife and then carried it up and down the bus, brandishing it to passengers and taunting police.

He was also observed "cutting body parts from the victim and eating those body parts", she said. A plastic bag later found in his pocket by police contained his victim's ear, nose and part of his mouth.

Ms Dalmyn said Mr Li had refused to leave the bus, shouting at police officers: "I have to stay on the bus forever."

Witnesses have reported that Mr Li did not appear to know the sleeping victim and that the attack began without warning.

'No anger issues'

Mr Li, who emigrated to Canada from China four years ago, is being kept in custody in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.

Church pastor Tom Castor, who helped hire Mr Li after he immigrated, told the AP news agency that the suspect never showed any sign of anger or emotional problems.

"He seemed like a person who was happy to have a job, was committed to doing it well and didn't stand out in any way (in terms of) having anger issues or having any other issues," Castor was quoted as saying.

Mr Li was also vetted by church officials and his references were checked. He did not have a criminal record and there did not appear to be any other signs of problematic or troubled past.

If evidence shows the attacker was mentally ill and did not understand what he was doing, criminal charges may not stand up, Fred Shane, a Manitoba forensic psychiatrist, told the Reuters news agency.

The judge ordered that Mr Li be sent for psychiatric evaluation before his next scheduled court appearance on 8 September.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports, the Greyhound bus company has been scrambling to remove all traces of an advertising campaign which used the slogan: "There's a reason you've never heard of bus rage."

The campaign was supposed to have ended but a spokeswoman said some billboards had been found still in place.


SEE ALSO
Bus beheading suspect in court
01 Aug 08 |  Americas
Beheaded Canada bus man 'named'
01 Aug 08 |  Americas
Passenger beheaded on Canada bus
31 Jul 08 |  Americas

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