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Purdue Shooter Sentenced To 65 Years

Stan Jastrzebski

A Tippecanoe County judge has sentenced Cody Cousins, the man convicted of killing fellow Purdue student Andrew Boldt in January, to 65 years in jail.

Friday's hearing lasted close to four hours and featured pointed testimony from both of Boldt's parents, both of whom glared at Cousins during their statements.

Boldt's mother Mary asked Cousins to tell her why he killed her son, but she couldn't have liked the answer when it came later in the hearing.

Cousins, in his statement to the court, said he killed Boldt "because I wanted to" and said he'd deal with the consequences later.

"Thirty-one years of doing this in multiple murder cases -- reading the law for 31 years, reading case law from other states -- you all were present and heard a person stand up in court and say words that should chill not only you to the bone, but society," Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington said after the hearing.

Cousins also said he'd lied to the court-appointed doctors who examined him about his mental health, adding that he made up stories about hallucinations.

Cousins did admit to a history of drug abuse and said he disagrees with his mother, a psychologist, about his mental state.

A bevy of different doctors examined Cousins during the last eight months, and they diagnosed him with with a bevy of different illnesses -- none of which they said he was acting under the influence of on Jan. 21.

In pronouncing his sentence, Judge Thomas Busch noted Cousins did not appear to feel remorse, acted in an unusually cruel manner in killing Boldt, did so in a classroom because of the terror it would provoke in other students and took pride in the killing -- all of which served as aggravating factors in his decision.

But even as he asked the court to sentence Cousins to that maximum sentence allowable under the law, Harrington noted Cousins could be out of prison within 30 years. Because of the Indiana statute that allows two days of credit for every day served in jail and because Cousins is more than intelligent enough to earn academic degrees while in prison, Harrington knew he could only sentence the onetime engineering major to so much. After the hearing, he said he'll approach the Indiana General Assembly when it reconvenes for the 2015 session and ask for tougher sentencing guidelines.

Busch says Cousins made it clear he does not wish to seek mental health treatment. In fact, near the end of the hearing and even after appearing to disagree with his lawyer Kirk Freeman on whether it was wise to speak, Cousins added to the statement he made the court just before his sentence was pronounced, asking if "mental health treatment is meant to be a punishment."

During his earlier statement to the court, Cousins spoke in clinical language, seeming not just to understand the definition of the psychological terms he was using, but to be intimately familiar with them.

Freeman tried to persuade the court his client is "so sick he may not know he's sick," but Busch was far from allowing it.

It's unclear where Cousins will spend his jail time or if he'll appeal the sentence.


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