Purdue University shooter found dead in Indiana prison

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 29, 2014 1:29 PM

(Reuters) - A former Purdue University student who admitted killing a fellow student on campus in January has been found dead in prison of an apparent suicide, a state prison official said on Wednesday.

Cody Cousins, 24, was found unresponsive Tuesday night in his cell at the prison in Michigan City with self-inflicted lacerations to his neck and arms, Indiana State Prison Superintendent Ron Neal said in a statement.

Attempts were made to revive Cousins, who was alone in the cell, but he was pronounced dead about 25 minutes after being found during a routine check, Neal said. An autopsy will be conducted and the death is under investigation.

Cousins pleaded guilty to killing Andrew Boldt, 21, who was stabbed and shot multiple times in front of about a dozen students at a classroom at Purdue's West Lafayette, Indiana, campus.

Cousins was sentenced in September to 65 years in prison. He had arrived at the prison Oct. 23 and was being held in a unit for new arrivals, Neal said.

His public defender, Kirk Freeman, had argued during the sentencing hearing that mental illness should be considered a mitigating factor. "He's so sick he may not know he's sick," Freeman said at the sentencing.

Cousins, who was from Warsaw, Indiana, at his sentencing told Tippecanoe County Superior Court Judge Thomas Busch he had faked mental illness in interviews with court-appointed doctors.

Busch said he could not find that Cousins was mentally ill at the time of the murder. Prosecutor Patrick Harrington had said Cousins was not remorseful for his actions.

Authorities said that after killing Boldt, Cousins told the other students he was done, walked out of the classroom and waited for police to arrive.

At his trial, Cousins said he killed Boldt "because I wanted to and in general I do what I want." Authorities said he was envious of Boldt.

(Reporting by David Bailey)