Purdue student charged with killing roommate unfit for trial

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IL file photo

A Purdue University student charged with murder in the stabbing death of his dormitory roommate is incompetent to stand trial, a judge ruled Thursday.

Tippecanoe Circuit Judge Sean Persin appointed two doctors to treat Ji Min Sha until he is found competent to understand the charges against him and assist in his defense.

Sha, a 22-year-old cybersecurity major from Seoul, South Korea, faces one count of murder in the October slaying of Varun Manish Chhedad, 20, of Indianapolis. The two lived in McCutcheon Hall on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus, about 65 miles (104 kilometers) northwest of Indianapolis.

Prosecutors allege that Sha stabbed Chheda, a data science major, several times in the head and neck with a folding knife that officers found on the floor near the chair where Chheda’s body was discovered.

Persin ruled after reading a report prepared by defense-hired psychologist Dr. Sean Samuels, who interviewed Sha for five hours shortly after the slaying.

Court records indicate Sha told police he believes “he is extensively involved in international espionage and is a former CIA operative,” WLFI-TV reported.

Purdue Police Chief Lesley Wiete has said Sha called police early on Oct. 5 and told them his roommate was dead in their dorm room. Officers who arrested Sha found him wearing clothes with blood on them, prosecutors have said. An autopsy found that Chheda had died of “multiple sharp-force traumatic injuries.”

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