WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Defense attorneys for Ji Min Sha may seek the insanity defense in connection with the October attack that killed a fellow student inside a Purdue University dorm.
His attorneys are also seeking a hearing to determine if he’s competent to stand trial.
In court documents filed on Nov. 11, his defense team asked the court for a competency hearing and the appointment of “two or three competent and disinterested psychiatrists, psychologists or physicians who have expertise in determining competency to examine the Defendant and report to this Court on his competence to stand trial and schedule a competency hearing on this issue.”
The filing said the defense intended to raise an insanity/mental disease or defect defense in his trial.
“This request is based on undersigned counsel’s good faith belief that the Defendant lacks the ability to understand the proceedings and assist in the preparation of his defense,” the filing said.
Sha was taken into custody on Oct. 5. He’d called police at 12:44 a.m. that day to report that he’d killed his roommate, 20-year-old Varun Manish Chheda, in McCutcheon Hall.
Sha told police he’d stabbed Chheda multiple times with a knife. While being walked into court two days after the attack, Sha commented that he had been “blackmailed.”
He is charged with murder. According to court records, the next hearing in the case is scheduled for Dec. 2.