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Purdue University Shooter Cody Cousins Receives Max Sentence of 65 Years

By Matt Adams and Amanda Rakes | Fox 59

A Purdue University student who admitted to stabbing and shooting a classmate in January received the maximum sentence Friday.

Judge Thomas Busch delivered a 65 year prison sentence to Cody Cousins, who pleaded guilty to killing Andrew Boldt at Purdue’s Electrical Engineering Building. The attack shocked the campus and led to new security systems at the university in West Lafayette.

Shortly after his arrest in January, Cousins entered a not guilty plea. He later asked for a change of venue and new representation. His attorney filed a notice in May that he planned to use an insanity defense, and Cousins said he has mental health issues.

Is Cody Cousins mentally ill?

During testimony Friday, Dr. Steven Berger said Cousins has a mental illness, adding that he was not experiencing those symptoms when he killed Boldt. Berger described Cousins as bipolar.

During the hearing, prosecutors revealed that Cousins had been to 17 appointments with Purdue Counseling Services. He’d also been treated for amphetamine abuse. He exhibited issues including bipolarism, drug abuse, psychosis and delusions. It was also noted that Cousins made the Dean’s List three times and was considered very smart.

A second expert, Dr. Vernon L. Little from Wabash Valley Alliance, said Cousins had trouble for years; those problems could’ve gotten more intense as the years went by. He said there was no doubt Cousins was mentally ill and believed the condition would continue in the years to come.

A pathologist, Dr. Elmo Griggs, said Boldt was shot five times and suffered 19 stab wounds and cuts. He was shot both in the front and the back. Griggs testified that it was “the worst homicide I have ever seen.”

A Lafayette Police Department detective said a witness told him Cousins bought ecstasy from August 2013 to October 2013, buying about a gram of the drug every 10 days. The detective noted that the substance can cause hallucinations and lead to aggressive behavior.

A Purdue police detective said students heard and saw Cousins stab Boldt and then kick him. He’s interviewed the students and said they were traumatized by what they witnessed. Cousins had attended two classes on the morning of the murder. After shooting Boldt and running out of ammunition, the investigator said Cousins told students to call police and then pulled out a knife.

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Background Photo Credit: Kasia Broussalian © 2015