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Prosecutor: Purdue University shooter’s motive was jealousy, envy

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By Kendall Downing

LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Eight months later, now we know why a Purdue University student shot and stabbed a classmate on campus.

For the first time, Friday the man who plead guilty to the crime, Cody Cousins, told a packed courtroom what he did and why.

It was a crime of jealousy, pure and simple, according to prosecutors.

Friday a Tippecanoe County judge gave Cousins the maximum sentence, 65 years in prison.

The sentencing hearing was emotional and tense at times.

Judge Thomas Busch rejected the idea that Cody Cousins was guilty but insane, instead saying he planned out the murder and knew exactly what he was doing.

Judge Busch called the murder a crime of hatred and a crime of terror, comparing it to the story of Cain & Abel from the Bible.

"He killed a human being, and he victimized people in a classroom," said Pat Harrington, Tippecanoe County Prosecutor.

The sentencing hearing for Cody Cousins revealed grisly details about the on-campus murder back on January 21st. 

Investigators said cousins shot and stabbed Andrew Boldt multiple times inside the Electrical Engineering Building, mutilating his body so badly, the doctor who performed the autopsy called it the worst homicide he'd ever seen.

A professor testified Andrew Boldt tried to help Cody Cousins in class back in 2013. He believed Cousins got offended by the gesture, and that sparked a seed of hate.

It's a targeted crime the prosecutor chalked up to jealousy.

"He was truly envious. Andrew Boldt was as a professor testified, well liked. He was the most popular teacher's assistant at Purdue University. He was everything the defendant wasn't," said Harrington.

Cousins did not take the stand but did give a statement. His remarks shocked the courtroom.

"I killed Andrew Boldt because I wanted to. I do what I want and deal with the consequences later," Cousins said aloud, "I have a confession to make. I lied to those doctors. I made up all the crap about Andrew being evil.

Prosecutor Harrington said he's never heard comments uttered like that in his decades-long legal career.

"You all were present and heard a person stand in court and say words that should chill not only you but society, " he said after the hearing, "And that doesn't happen. That is an anomaly."

The mother of Cody Cousins, a psychologist herself, told the judge she had her son involuntarily committed in 2013 for mental distress.

But Cousins rejected that he had any mental issues Friday and also acknowledged his own drug use.

Both parents of victim Andrew Boldt took the stand.

There are no words to describe the emotions I struggle with every day. For 8 months I've been waiting to find out why," said Mary Boldt, as she looked Cousins in the eye.

Friday afternoon she got an answer.

"There truly are a few people out there who are evil and will do atrocious acts against unsuspecting individuals," said Harrington.

Boldt's family did not want to make comments to the media. Instead through a statement they said they wished to continue grieving in private.

During one of the more heartbreaking points of testimony, Boldt's mother Mary said her son would have wanted to be an organ donor. But the pathology on Boldt's body took so long, and he was so badly assaulted that the family could not donate his organs.

You can read a detailed description of Friday afternoon's sentencing hearing along with longer accounts of witness testimony by clicking here.