LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — The man charged with killing a fellow Purdue University student in a classroom will get a new attorney and told a judge Thursday he’s being treated for a mental illness.
The judge ruled that Cody Cousins, 21, of Warsaw could drop his attorney and receive a public defender to represent him against a charge of murder in the January shooting and stabbing death of Andrew Boldt, 21, of West Bend, Wisconsin, inside a classroom on the West Lafayette campus.
During a hearing on whether attorney Robert W. Gevers II of Fort Wayne can withdraw from Cousins’ defense, Tippecanoe Superior Court Judge Thomas Busch asked the defendant several questions to determine if he was indigent and eligible for a public defender. Asked if he was under the influence of any drug that might impair his decisions, Cousins says he was taking medication to treat schizophrenia that was prescribed for him after his arrest.
It was the first time that Cousins or his defense has directly linked him to a mental health issue, the Journal & Courier reported (http://on.jconline.com/Rv9V0q ). During a hearing in March, Gevers had listed a forensic psychiatrist, Phillip J. Resnick as a possible witness. Resnick has consulted in high-profile cases including those of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, the so-called “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski and convicted killer Jeffrey Dahmer, according to www.specializedtraining.com .
Gevers told the judge his relationship with Cousins broke down during a meeting last month.
“It became clear to me that Mr. Cousins and me had a breakdown in trust,” Gevers said. “I do not believe that Mr. Cousins and I can effectively continue or effectively communicate.”
Cousins was more candid.
“I felt he was motivated by financial gain and not entirely interested in the facts of the case or even right or wrong,” Cousins told Busch in a clear, articulate voice. “I no longer trust him and that makes it impossible to cooperate in my legal defense.”
Cousins said he intended to represent himself until realizing he was ignorant of the law and needed a public defender.
Cousins’ trial currently is still set to begin on Oct. 6. A motive for the slaying has not been made public.