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Insanity defense planned in Purdue slaying

LAFAYETTE, Ind. – An insanity defense is planned for a northeast Indiana man charged with killing a fellow Purdue University student in a campus classroom, his attorney said Thursday after a judge approved a mental evaluation for the man.

Cody Cousins’ attorney, Kirk Freeman, was granted his request for Tippecanoe Superior Court to pay for a mental evaluation for his client. Judge Thomas Busch interpreted the request as a step toward raising an insanity defense, which Freeman confirmed was his intent.

“He treated it as if it was an insanity (defense) even though I haven’t asked for it yet,” Freeman told the Journal & Courier (http://on.jconline.com/1iPRXvE) after the hearing.

The 23-year-old Cousins, who is from Warsaw, told the judge last week he was prescribed medicine after his arrest to control his moods and treat schizophrenia. Cousins at that time also requested and received a new attorney in Freeman, who is a public defender.

Cousins is accused of fatally shooting and stabbing 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of West Bend, Wisconsin, in January inside a classroom on the West Lafayette campus.

Busch ordered Wabash Valley Alliance, a mental health agency, to provide a psychiatrist and one other expert to evaluate Cousins. Because of the high-profile nature of the case, Busch also will ask for a third expert to evaluate Cousins. If Cousins refuses to cooperate with the experts, an insanity defense would not be allowed, Busch said during the hearing.

Cousins’ previous attorney had hinted that he intended to raise an insanity defense, but the paperwork was never filed, Busch said during the hearing.

His former attorney was Fort Wayne attorney Robert Gevers. They parted ways last week after Cousins and Gevers both testified that they don’t trust the other person.

Freeman also has requested a change of venue.

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