Prosecutors get extension to file charges against Purdue murder suspect

Students leave notes and battery powered lights on the ‘Unfinished Block P’ during a vigil for Varun Manish Chheda, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Varun Manish Chheda, a student at Purdue, was killed inside McCutcheon Hall early Wednesday.

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Police arrived in Ji Min Sha's McCutcheon Hall dorm room about 12:45 a.m. Wednesday to find Sha covered in blood and his roommate, Varun Manish Chheda, sitting dead in a chair in the room, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors filed Friday for a 72-hour extension to file a formal charge of murder, giving them until Thursday afternoon to file criminal charges. Sha remained incarcerated without bond at the Tippecanoe County Jail on Friday.

What we know:Purdue student from Indianapolis killed in his residence hall

When police arrived, they found a folding knife on the floor, and arrested Sha, according to the affidavit.

During questioning, Sha told police he stabbed Chheda using the knife they found on the floor, according to the prosecutor's affidavit. Sha admitted that the knife was his.

Sha appeared in court at the Tippecanoe County Jail Friday afternoon to learn that prosecutors filed a motion for more time to file formal charges.

Journalists asked Sha why he killed Chheda, and he replied, "I was blackmailed."

Asked by journalists what he would say to Chheda's family, Sha said, "I'm sorry."

Inside the courtroom, Tippecanoe County Magistrate Sarah Wyatt read Sha his rights, including his right to legal counsel. Then Wyatt read the prosecutor's petition for the extension to file charges.

Sha sat with his arms wrapped around his stomach, and his head tilted forward, except when he was asked questions.

When Wyatt asked Sha a question, he lifted his head and replied, "Yes, your honor."

Wyatt informed Sha that he will remain held at jail without bond until Thursday's initial hearing on the charge of murder. She also informed him that typically there is no bond for the charge of murder in Indiana.

A conviction of murder in Indiana carries a prison sentence ranging between 45 and 65 years.

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This article originally appeared on Lafayette Journal & Courier: Ji Min Sha awaiting charges in roommate Varun Manish Chheda's death