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Suspect in killing of roommate at Purdue University plans to use insanity defense

Ji Sha in court 101322.JPG
Posted at 1:57 PM, Nov 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-14 13:57:49-05

LAFAYETTE — The suspect accused of fatally stabbing his roommate last month in their Purdue University dorm plans to use an insanity defense in court, records show.

A motion to determine Ji Min Sha's competency to stand trial was filed last week in the case against him, according to online court records.

WRTV has requested a copy of the filing.

Sha is being held without bond in the murder of Varun Manish Chheda, who officials have said was attacked without provocation.

If convicted of murder, Sha could face 45-65 years in prison.

Sha, an international student from Korea, reported Chheda's death to police himself shortly after he stabbed him to death, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Purdue University police found Chheda dead shortly after 12:44 a.m. Oct. 5 as they responded to McCutcheon Hall after Sha called 911.

When officers arrived, they found Cheda dead and sitting in a chair and Sha with what appeared to be blood on his clothing and body.

There was also a folding knife on the floor, which Sha later admitted was his. He told police he used the knife to kill Chheda while he was sitting in the chair where police found him, according to the affidavit.

An autopsy found Chheda died from "multiple sharp force trauma" injuries to his head and neck. His death was ruled a homicide.

Following the stabbing, Sha appeared in court and offered an apology to Chheda's family, saying "I am very sorry" and "I was blackmailed."

As of Monday, a trial date had not been scheduled for Sha. He is, however, scheduled to appear for a hearing on Dec. 2.