The case against a university student will be heard in court after a judge determined he is competent to stand trial for the murder of his roommate after spending time for treatment at a hospital, reports the Indiana Daily News.
Police arrested Ji Min Sha on Oct. 5, 2022, after receiving a report from Sha himself that he had killed his roommate, Varun Manish Chheda, CBS News reports, citing police sources.
Chheda, a senior majoring in data science, was found dead on a chair in their dorm at McCutcheon Hall. A preliminary autopsy determined that he died of multiple sharp-force traumatic injuries to the head and neck.
Sha told reporters at an initial hearing that he is “very sorry” and claimed to have been blackmailed, although he did not further elaborate.
Police confirmed that Chheda was gaming online with friends on the night he was killed. One of the friends told WTHR that he suddenly heard screaming from Chheda.
Earlier this year in April, the Tippecanoe County Court ruled that Sha was unfit for trial after two separate court-appointed physicians reported that he displayed symptoms consistent with schizophrenia.
Prior to his hospitalization, Sha reportedly experienced delusions and hallucinations while in jail. His medical records also show that he had been prescribed medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Tourette syndrome and depression since his teenage years.
After months of treatment, however, the court deemed him fit for trial and confirmed that Sha now has the ability to “understand the proceedings and assist in the preparation of his defense,” according to Indiana Daily Student.
Sha is currently in county jail. A status conference has been set for September 29, 2023.
The New York Post informs that if convicted of the one count of murder, Sha could face 45-60 years behind bars.
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