Insanity defense filed in Purdue campus shooting

Cody Cousins. (Provided Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A judge appointed two mental health experts on Friday to determine whether an Indiana man was insane when he allegedly killed a fellow Purdue University student in a campus classroom.

According to court records, Judge Thomas Busch appointed a psychiatrist and a physician from western Indiana mental health care agency Wabash Valley Alliance to examine Cody Cousins, 23. Busch has also said he will appoint a third expert.

Defense attorney Kirk Freeman formally filed paperwork for an insanity defense this week in Tippecanoe Superior Court.

When Busch asked Cousins at a hearing a couple of weeks ago whether he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs that might impede his ability to participate in his defense, Cousins replied that he has been prescribed medication to control his moods and treat schizophrenia.

Cousins, of Warsaw, Indiana, is charged with fatally shooting and stabbing 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of West Bend, Wisconsin, in January inside a basement classroom on the West Lafayette campus.

Cousins’ mental state at the time of Boldt’s death now becomes the basis of the defense. The key questions are whether he realized what he was allegedly doing and whether he understood that it was wrong.

Freeman also has requested the trial be moved to another location. Freeman has argued that it would be impossible for Cousins to get a fair trial if jurors were drawn from a county where Purdue is the largest employer. He also said Cousins’ statement last week that he was being treated for schizophrenia was inflammatory and could prejudice jurors.

Busch has not yet ruled on Freeman’s request for a change of venue, and Cousins’ trial is currently scheduled to begin Oct. 6 in Lafayette.

Freeman declined to comment beyond the public record, and Prosecutor Patrick Harrington did not return phone calls seeking comment on the case.

 

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