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Judge sentences killer of Purdue student to 65 years prison, rejects mental illness defense

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LAFAYETTE, Indiana — An Indiana man who admitted fatally stabbing and shooting a fellow Purdue University student inside a crowded classroom was sentenced Friday to the maximum 65 years in prison after telling a judge he lied about being mentally ill.

Tippecanoe Superior Court Judge Thomas Busch cited Cody Cousins' lack of remorse, the viciousness of the Jan. 21 attack on Andrew Boldt and Cousins' apparent pride in Boldt's death in rejecting the defense's request that Cousins be found guilty but mentally ill.

"That's not insanity. That's not mental illness," Busch said, calling the slaying a "crime of hatred" and likening it to the biblical story of Cain and Abel.

Both Cousins and Boldt were teaching assistants in Purdue's electrical engineering program at the time of the attack.

Prosecutor Pat Harrington said Cousins, who had struggled in some classes and left Purdue at one point, envied Boldt, whom witnesses described as a humble man and top student.

"Andrew was everything he was not," Harrington said.

Boldt, of West Bend, Wisconsin, was shot five times, including three times in the face, and suffered 19 cuts as horrified students looked on.

"This is the worst homicide I've ever seen," said Dr. Elmo Griggs, the pathologist who performed Boldt's autopsy.

PHOTO: Cody Cousins arrives at the Tippecanoe County Courthouse for sentencing Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, in Lafayette, Ind. Cousins pleaded guilty to murder last month for the Jan. 21 attack during which 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of West Bend, Wisconsin, was killed inside a classroom filled with students on the West Lafayette campus. (AP Photo/The Journal & Courier, John Terhune) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES
Cody Cousins arrives at the Tippecanoe County Courthouse for sentencing Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, in Lafayette, Ind. Cousins pleaded guilty to murder last month for the Jan. 21 attack during which 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of West Bend, Wisconsin, was killed inside a classroom filled with students on the West Lafayette campus. (AP Photo/The Journal & Courier, John Terhune) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES

Cousins pleaded guilty to the slaying last month. Defense attorneys argued that the 24-year-old Warsaw man was mentally ill at the time of the attack and asked that he receive treatment now instead of upon his release from prison.

Defense attorney Kirk Freeman said his client was "so sick, he may not know he's sick."

Cousins' mother testified that there was a history of mental illness in her family and said she had her son hospitalized on a 72-hour psychiatric hold in the summer of 2013.

Cousins told Judge Busch at a May 8 hearing that he was taking medication to treat schizophrenia. But he testified Friday that he lied to doctors about having auditory hallucinations.

"I killed Andrew Boldt because I wanted to," he said.

Experts who examined Cousins said he didn't show signs of mental illness the day Boldt was killed.

Boldt's parents testified Friday that they cry every day over the loss of their son.

"Every single day I think of how terrified he must have been, having that gun pointed to him," Mary Boldt said during a statement she directed at Cousins. "It brings me to tears.

"Mr. Cousins, you blasted holes in many, many hearts."

Cousins has been jailed since his arrest soon after the attack. He will receive credit for time served.

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PHOTO: Cody Cousins arrives at the Tippecanoe County Courthouse for sentencing Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, in Lafayette, Ind. Cousins pleaded guilty to murder last month for the Jan. 21 attack during which 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of West Bend, Wisconsin, was killed inside a classroom filled with students on the West Lafayette campus. (AP Photo/The Journal & Courier, John Terhune) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES
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