Cody Cousins pleads guilty in fatal Purdue campus attack
The man charged with killing a Purdue University classmate earlier this year has pleaded guilty to the crime.
Cody Cousins admitted in a Tippecanoe County Courtroom that he shot and stabbed Andrew Boldt in front of a classroom full of students last January.
Cousins earlier pleaded not guilty to the crime, and his attorneys said they would use an insanity defense at his trial.
Sentencing will happen sometime next month. Cousins faces anywhere from 45 to 65 years in prison. His plea comes six weeks before his trial was due to begin.
The trial would have likely called dozens of student witnesses, and many sounded relieved by the plea.
"It would have been a lot to hear about a trial all the time. It would have been kind of something in the back of everyone's head. It's kind of a relief. Put him away for good, I guess," said Jake Bounder, Purdue student.
"I think it's good that he pleaded guilty because there were so many witnesses. I think it really saved trouble for the people who were traumatized and his family as well, because having to go through that and having to drag it out longer," said Paula Iglesias, Purdue student.
Cousins' attorney says that his client told the court he went to the electrical engineering building intending to kill Boldt, shooting and stabbing him in front of a class.
"Mr. Cousins was fully coherent, knew what was going on, and it was his own free act that was completely voluntary and intelligent and knowingly, he pled guilty. We did what my client wanted to do," said Kirk Freeman, defense attorney.
Cousins did not offer a motive, but the plea of guilty but mentally ill will be an issue during sentencing next month. That means Cousins would be entitled to counseling and mental health treatment, but his sentencing would not be less than 45 years.Cousins' defense attorney had said in May he would pursue an insanity defense. Tippecanoe Superior Court bailiff Brenda Rody says the judge will decide the issue of Cousins' mental state during a sentencing hearing set for Sept. 19.
Cousins and Boldt were both electrical engineering students at the time.