Varun Manish Chheda, 20, a native of Indianapolis, was discovered dead on Wednesday in McCutcheon Hall on the western border of the Purdue University campus. According to a media source, a Korean student who is accused of fatally stabbing his Indian-origin roommate in their dormitory at the prestigious Purdue University stated he was very sorry for his murder but claimed he had been blackmailed.
A junior cybersecurity major from Korea named Ji Min “Jimmy” Sha was detained in connection with the murder. Sha, 22, appeared in his first court appearance on Friday before Tippecanoe County Magistrate Sarah Wyatt after being taken into custody on charges of fatally stabbing Varun Chheda.
When questioned on the reason for the crime, the suspect replied, “I was blackmailed.” He made no more comments, according to WLFI, an Indiana television station.
Sha said, “I am very sorry,” when asked whether he had anything to say to the victim’s family. Sha was arrested last week for the alleged murder of Chheda, a senior data science student who died from multiple sharp-force traumatic injuries, according to the Tippecanoe County coroner.
Sha was heard saying, “I love my family,” as he was being taken to jail. Sha said that he had fatally stabbed his roommate in their McCutcheon Hall room to the police at around 12:45 a.m. on Wednesday.
According to the reports, police discovered Chheda lying in a chair and Sha covered in what seemed to be blood. A pool of blood, a folding knife, and what seemed to be blood splatters on the wall and floor were also seen.
According to Chheda’s friends, they were playing video games with the victim when they unexpectedly heard him yell. The murder was described as “unprovoked and senseless” by Indiana police.
Ji Min Sha was charged with murdering his roommate with a knife early on October 5 in their dorm room by the prosecution on Thursday.
Prosecutors alleged that Varun Manish Chheda, 20, of Indianapolis, was stabbed many times in the head and neck by Sha, 22, of South Korea, using a folding knife that police discovered on the floor close to Chheda’s chair.
Prosecutors claimed Sha contacted the police on October 5 at 12:45 a.m. to report the murder, and when they came, they saw Sha wearing clothing covered in blood. Sha made his initial court appearance on Thursday in the late afternoon.
He was told of his rights and claimed to understand them. Sha was advised by Tippecanoe County Magistrate Sarah Wyatt that if found guilty of the offence of which he is charged, he may face a jail term of 45 to 60 years. Sha has retained legal counsel to defend himself. Last week, Sha apologised to Chheda’s family and told the media as he approached the trial that he had been the victim of blackmail.