Man Who Beheaded Bus Passenger Freed

Matt Baker gets total discharge for 2008 attack
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2017 7:53 AM CST

(Newser) – A man who stabbed, beheaded, and partially cannibalized a fellow Greyhound bus passenger in a terrifying random attack in 2008 has been granted an absolute discharge by authorities in Canada, meaning he will no longer be subject to any court-ordered monitoring. That includes monitoring to check whether he is taking his daily medication to treat schizophrenia, the Winnipeg Free Press reports. Matt Baker, an immigrant from China who changed his name from Vince Li after the attack, was found not criminally responsible for the killing in 2009 and spent seven years in a psychiatric hospital before he was allowed to live independently in Winnipeg a few months ago, reports the Guardian.

Baker has said he thought he heard the voice of God ordering him to kill 22-year-old carnival worker Tim McLean. McLean's mother has argued against granting Baker a total discharge, saying he might stop taking his medication. "I have no words," she said after Friday's ruling. Chris Summerville, CEO of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada, tells the CBC that he has worked with Baker and while he knows many will disagree with the release, he believes Baker will "stay engaged" in managing his mental illness. "People can effectively and successfully live with schizophrenia and manage it and be responsible citizens, have a moral conscience, and stay with their treatment plan," Summerville says. "I see it every day." (Read more Canada stories.)

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