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Purdue dorm roommate murder suspect judged fit for trial after hospitalization



Lafayette, Indiana – According to court documents, a man accused of murder in the stabbing death of his roommate at Purdue University has been deemed fit to stand trial.

A Tuesday court document reveals that after receiving months of treatment, doctors at Logansport State Hospital determined Ji Min Sha to be competent for trial.

Sha “has attained the ability to understand the proceedings and assist in the preparation of his defense,” hospital Superintendent Bethany Schoenradt wrote in a letter to Tippecanoe Circuit Judge Sean Persin.

Varun Manish Chheda, 20, of Indianapolis died in October 2022, and the judge deemed Sha unfit for trial in April. Sha had described experiencing hallucinations, persistent psychosis, and delusional thinking while incarcerated, according to Persin’s findings at the time.

Sha was taken to the county jail on Persin’s instruction to the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office.

The case’s status conference has been set for September 29.

Sha’s primary attorney in the case was contacted by phone and left a voicemail requesting a comment.

Varun Manish Chhedad, 20, of Indianapolis, was killed in October 2022, and Sha, a cybersecurity major from Seoul, South Korea, is accused of his murder on one count. The two resided in McCutcheon Hall on the Purdue University campus in West Lafayette, which is located roughly 65 miles (104 kilometers) outside of Indianapolis.

Authorities claim that Sha used a folding knife that was located by officers on the floor close to the chair where Chheda’s body was found to stab the data science major multiple times in the head and neck.

Court records show Sha has told police he believes “he is extensively involved in international espionage and is a former CIA operative.”

Purdue Police Chief Lesley Wiete has said Sha called police early on Oct. 5, 2022, 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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