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The Indiana Daily Student

crime & courts

Purdue University student charged with murder ruled unfit to stand trial

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Tippecanoe Circuit Judge Sean Persin issued an order Monday determining that Ji Min Sha, the Purdue University student charged with the murder of his roommate in October, lacks comprehension to stand trial, according to the case summary

The victim, Varun Manish Chheda, died from multiple sharp-force injuries. He was found in his dorm room on the university’s campus in McCutcheon Hall on Oct. 5, 2022.  

Two independent court-appointed physicians, George Parker and Joanna Will, offered their opinions on Sha’s mental competency during a hearing on March 24, according to Journal & Courier. Both physicians believed Sha suffers from schizophrenia and that his medical history shows he has been prescribed antipsychotic medication as early as 2012.  

[Related: Purdue student allegedly killed in dorm room; roommate preliminarily charged with murder]

Parker and Will both recommended Sha be referred to the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction to receive inpatient care until his competency has been restored, according to Journal & Courier. Persin approved this referral and halted court proceedings until Sha is deemed competent.  

The state will routinely check in on Sha’s mental health starting 90 days after his first day of treatment, according to Journal & Courier. 

According to The U.S. Department of Justice, competency to stand trial includes the capability to sufficiently and presently consult with one’s lawyer, understand the case to a reasonable and rational degree and understand the proceedings against oneself in a factual manner. 

A status conference, where both parties will meet to discuss the case, is scheduled for April 21, according to the case summary. 

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