Suspect Claims To Be Ex-CIA

( During a competency hearing last week, the judge overseeing the murder trial of the Purdue University student who stabbed his roommate to death in October, determined that the defendant will undergo further evaluation to determine if he is fit to stand trial.

South Korean student Ji Min Sha, 22 was taken into custody on October 5 after he called 911 to say he killed his roommate by stabbing him in the head and neck with a folding knife.

According to local news reports, Sha later told police that he was “extensively involved in international espionage and is a former CIA operative.”

While being escorted into court two days later, Sha claimed that he had been “blackmailed.”

Sha’s attorney, Kyle Cray had indicated in November that he planned to pursue an insanity defense, filing a motion requesting a formal evaluation of his client’s mental state.

During last Thursday’s hearing on Cray’s motion, Tippecanoe Circuit Judge Sean Persin read the initial evaluation conducted by Dr. Sean Samuels that was written after Samuels visited with Sha in October.

After reading Samuels’ evaluation, Judge Persin told the prosecution and defense, “You really don’t need to get that far into the report to determine” that there were “reasonable grounds” for further evaluation.

Court documents in the case include Sha’s records from the university’s Counseling and Psychological Services. Records also included Sha’s 2018 suicide threats and his medical records from the Tippecanoe County Jail.

Persin appointed Sha’s two doctors, Dr. George Parker and Dr. Joanna Will to determine his mental fitness and evaluate his “sanity/insanity at the time of the alleged offense.” The doctors will report back to the court with their findings.

To be competent to stand trial, a defendant must be able to understand the proceedings and assist in his own defense. If Sha is ruled incompetent, he will receive treatment until he is healthy enough to stand trial.

Judge Persin scheduled a status conference on February 3, 2023.