This is a horrible story all around. It looks as though the young man had a history of mental illness.

Russell Westerholm of University Herald reports.

Cody Cousins, Purdue Student Convicted of Murder, Commits Suicide in His Cell

Cody Cousins, a 24-year-old man convicted of shooting a classmate in a Purdue University building, has committed suicide in prison.

The Indiana Department of Correction (DoC) confirmed to the Lafayette Journal and Courier Wednesday that Cousins was found in his cell with cuts to his arms and neck Tuesday night. The prison was undergoing a regular security sweep around nine p.m. when Cousins was found unresponsive.

He was confirmed dead at 9:20 p.m.

“It appears he used a razor to self-inflict wounds to his neck and arms,” Doug Garrison, and Indiana DoC spokesman, told the Courier, noting that inmates are permitted disposable plastic safety razors.

John Sullivan, LaPorte County’s coroner, said the cut to his neck was the fatal injury.

On Jan. 21, Cousins entered the Purdue Electrical Engineering Building and shot, stabbed and killed Andrew Boldt, 21, a fellow student.

On Aug. 21, Cousins pled guilty to murder without a deal in place, though did not discuss his motive as his attorneys had been arguing a case of insanity. On Sept. 19, Judge Thomas Busch sentenced Cousins to 65 years in prison, the maximum, and dismissed the insanity provision that would have allowed him to receive treatment while incarcerated. If Cousins had demonstrated good behavior, he could have been released after 31 years.

The Courier noted that Cousins’ sentencing hearing was “captivating” as it was also the first time he spoke in a public proceeding. He said he used what he knew about mental illness to pretend having one of his own.

Still, one expert said Cousins was schizophrenic, another said he was bipolar and another said whatever mental illness he suffered from, it did not play apart in the murder. Kirk Freeman, Cousins’ attorney, said in a statement his client was “so sick he doesn’t know how sick he is.”