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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The former Purdue University student accused of fatally shooting and stabbing a teaching assistant admitted Thursday that he is a murderer.

Cody Cousins , 24, said during a court hearing that he went to the Electrical Engineering Building before noon Jan. 21 with a gun and a knife, entered a basement classroom and shot and stabbed 21-year-old Andrew Boldt.

Cousins also told Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington it was his intent when he went to the campus to kill Boldt, but nothing was discussed about Cousins' motive. It's not an element of the crime.

Special public defender Kirk Freeman said his client pleaded guilty without a plea agreement, reserving the right to raise mental health questions before Cousins is sentenced.

"The 'guilty but mentally ill' will be argued at the sentencing Sept. 19," Freeman said.

At that time, state-appointed mental health experts who examined Cousins will testify about their findings, and Tippecanoe Superior 2 Judge Thomas Busch will have to determine Cousins' insanity claims.

Cousins faces between 45 and 65 years in prison for killing Boldt. The guilty plea eliminates the chance he might be found not guilty by reason of insanity. In Indiana, a defendant who raises the issue of mental health must prove the person was unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions at the time of the offense.

Because Cousins admitted his guilt, all of the not-guilty options are off the table.

If he is found to be mentally ill, he will receive mental health treatment for his specific ailment during his time in prison.

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