Purdue student accused of killing roommate claims insanity

Purdue student accused of killing roommate claims insanity

The roommate of a Purdue student convicted of murder claims he was ‘blackmailed’

Accused roommate of Purdue student murderer alleges he was ‘blackmailed’ 00:39

In the midst of an ongoing criminal trial, the Purdue University student who was accused of fatally stabbing his former roommate last month intends to employ an insanity defense. The student’s defense team filed a notice with the court requesting that medical specialists analyze his mental condition and determine if he is competent to stand trial.

In a motion filed electronically on Friday, Ji Min Sha’s attorney, Kyle Cray, asked the court to appoint “two or three competent and disinterested psychiatrists, psychologists, or physicians with expertise in determining competency to examine the Defendant and report on his competency to stand trial.”

The move also aimed to set a competency hearing for Sha, according to the Journal & Courier.

Varun Manish Chheda High School at Park Tudor

Sha, a 22-year-old junior studying cybersecurity at Purdue, was born in Seoul, South Korea. He is charged with murder for his suspected role in the death of Varun Manish Chheda, 20, a senior studying data science and Sha’s dorm roommate. They lived in McCutcheon Hall on the Purdue campus in West Lafayette, some 65 miles northwest of Chheda’s hometown of Indianapolis.

Officers recovered a folding knife beside the chair where Chheda’s body was located. According to the prosecution, Sha stabbed Chheda multiple times in the head and neck with the knife. According to the Tippecanoe County Coroner’s Office, which conducted the autopsy, the preliminary investigation revealed that Chheda’s cause of death was “several sharp force traumatic injuries.” The method of death suspected was homicide.

Sha contacted 911 at 12:45 a.m. on October 5 and was redirected to local officials, to whom he reported his roommate’s death in their shared bedroom, according to Purdue Police Chief Lesley Wiete. Prosecutors have stated that when Sha was detained, his clothes were stained with blood, while Wiete commented shortly after the stabbing that first evidence suggested the act was “unprovoked” and “senseless.”

Sha is being detained in the Tippecanoe County Jail.

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