INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana man who fatally stabbed and shot a fellow Purdue University student earlier this year has been found dead from an apparent suicide in his prison cell, state correction officials said Wednesday.
Cody Cousins, 24, was pronounced dead about 30 minutes after being found unresponsive Tuesday night at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City with self-inflicted lacerations to his neck and arms, the Indiana Department of Correction said.
Cousins used a plastic razor he'd apparently taken apart to inflict the injuries, according to agency spokesman Doug Garrison.
Investigators said the Warsaw, Indiana, man entered a classroom filled with students on the West Lafayette campus Jan. 21 and attacked Andrew Boldt, 21, of West Bend, Wisconsin. Boldt was shot five times and suffered 19 cuts.
Both Cousins and Boldt were teaching assistants in Purdue's electrical engineering program at the time.
Cousins was sentenced Sept. 19 to 65 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder. During that hearing, Prosecutor Pat Harrington said Cousins, who had struggled in some classes and left Purdue at one point, envied Boldt, who was described as a top student.
Cousins' defense attorney, Kirk Freeman, said Wednesday that his client had struggled with serious mental illness.
"It's a horrible, tragic end to this and I've expressed my condolences to his family," Freeman said.
Indiana State Prison spokeswoman Pam James said Cousins arrived at the prison Oct. 23 and had been given a single cell of the sort assigned to new inmates.
James said inmates in those cells are checked by staff every 30 minutes and prison logs indicate a correctional officer had last checked on Cousins at 8:30 p.m., about 25 minutes before he was found. She said Cousins had not been on suicide watch.
Cousins' death is being investigated by the Department of Correction's internal affairs office and the LaPorte County coroner's office.