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Student accused of killing Indian-American roommate found fit to stand trial

New York, Sep 14 (IANS) A Purdue University student, who was charged with murder after he stabbed his Indian-origin roommate to death in October last year, has been found fit to stand trial, media reports said.

Ji Min Sha, a 22-year-old cybersecurity major from South Korea, stabbed Varun Manish Chheda, 20, a Data Science student, inside their first-floor McCutcheon Hall room on Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus.

The Logansport State Hospital determined that Sha “has attained the ability to understand the proceedings and assist in the preparation of his defense”, Tippecanoe Circuit Court Judge Sean M. Persin said in an order filed on Tuesday, the WRTV news channel reported.

Judge Persin ordered the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office to transport Sha and his belongings back to the Tippecanoe County Jail “at the earliest convenience”.

Sha, who is scheduled to appear in Persin’s court for a status conference on September 29, was previously found incompetent to stand trial by Persin in April.

Physicians told the court in April that they found Sha fit the criteria for a schizophrenia diagnosis and recommended a 90-days treatment for him in the Logansport facility.

According to court records, Sha had told police after his arrest that “he is extensively involved in international espionage and is a former CIA operative”.

Prosecutors alleged that Sha stabbed Chheda several times in the head and neck with a folding knife that officers found on the floor near the chair where the victim’s body was discovered.

Sha could face between 45 and 65 years in prison if found guilty of murder.

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