PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Manitoba (Reuters) - A man accused of killing, decapitating and eating the flesh of a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus in Canada shook his head and said “Please kill me” on Tuesday when a judge asked him if he wanted a lawyer.
Vince Weiguang Li, 40, was otherwise silent, staring at the floor and swaying side to side with hands clenched, as the prosecutor recounted the grisly details of the killing at a court hearing in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.
Judge Michel Chartier ordered Li to undergo psychiatric tests to see if he is fit to stand trial on second-degree murder charges.
Li’s remark was barely audible but was repeated outside court by duty lawyer Randall Janis, who stood beside him during the proceedings.
Prosecutor Joyce Dalmyn said Li, who immigrated to Canada from China in 2001, stabbed to death his sleeping seatmate, Tim McLean, in an unprovoked attack aboard the bus, which was rolling along the TransCanada Highway about an hour’s drive west of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
She said there was no link between Li and McLean, who family and friends have said was a 22-year-old carnival worker returning to his Winnipeg home.
The bus stopped and other passengers fled. After a six-hour standoff, Li jumped out a window and was apprehended by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Dalmyn said.
They found a severed ear, nose and mouth in a white plastic bag in his right front pant pocket, Dalmyn said.
Police said they believed Li had spent a brief period in a psychiatric facility, but Dalymn said the stay had not been confirmed.
Li worked a series of night-shift jobs in Winnipeg and Edmonton since moving to Canada, most recently delivering newspapers in Edmonton, according to media reports.
Li’s next court date was set for September 8.
Greyhound has scrambled since the incident to remove advertising billboards promoting the relaxation of bus travel. The ads carried the slogan, “There’s a reason you’ve never heard of bus rage.”
The ad campaign was suppose to have ended, but the company discovered some billboards were still up and newspaper inserts were still waiting to be sent out, Greyhound spokeswoman Abby Wambaugh said.
“We stopped any production of any ads that were going to be going out and anything that was still up we asked to be removed immediately,” she said.
Reporting by Angela Brown, Allan Dowd and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Peter Galloway