Nation & World Briefs 01-23-14 Confliciting views of Purdue shooting supect emerging

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INDIANAPOLIS -- A Purdue University engineering student who police say fatally shot another student in a basement classroom prepared to face a judge as those who knew both men struggled to make sense of the violence Wednesday.

Cody Cousins, 23, was scheduled to make an initial court appearance this afternoon in a small courtroom at the Tippecanoe County Jail, Deputy Prosecutor Kristen McVey said in a statement.

Cousins, who has addresses in Warsaw, Ind., and Centerville, Ohio, is being held without bond on a preliminary charge of murder in Tuesday's shooting death of 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of West Bend, Wis. Police have said Cousins targeted Boldt but they haven't disclosed why or how the two might have known each other.

Conflicting portraits are emerging of Cousins. Former high school classmates and teachers say he excelled academically. But some at Purdue say he could be rude and disliked being told he was wrong.

Police have said both Cousins and Boldt were seniors, and they identified Boldt as a teaching assistant. However, documents posted on the engineering school's website also listed Cousins as a teaching assistant. Both he and Boldt worked under Professor David Meyer for separate classes, according to the documents.

Purdue spokesman Liz Evans would not comment on Cousins' status. A woman who answered the phone at Meyer's home said the professor would not comment.

Full disclosure ordered: West Virginia regulators have ordered Freedom Industries to immediately disclose all materials involved in the recent spill that contaminated the water supply of 300,000 people, after the chemical company said there was a second chemical that entered the Elk River. State regulators sharply criticized the company for failing to report the presence of the second chemical, a mixture of polyglycol ethers, or PPH, and ordered them to disclose everything that leaked into the river. The state gave the company a deadline of 4 p.m. Wednesday to submit the data to inspectors at the plant site.

Woman dies; husband charged: Frances Dresser, the 86-year-old Nevada woman shot by her husband while hospitalized ,died Wednesday and her spouse of more than six decades was charged with murder, authorities said. Dresser of Douglas County died from injuries suffered when she was shot once in the chest Sunday while at Carson-Tahoe Regional Medical Center, Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong said. Her husband told officers he planned to "end his wife's suffering" by killing her and then himself, but his gun jammed, police said. District Attorney Neil Rombardo said William Dresser, 88, was charged Wednesday with "open murder" with use of a deadly weapon.

Texas executes Mexican national: Edgar Tamayo, 46, a Mexican national, was executed Wednesday night in Texas for killing a Houston police officer, despite pleas and diplomatic pressure from the Mexican government and the U.S. State Department to halt the punishment. Tamayo, 46, received a lethal injection for the January 1994 fatal shooting of Officer Guy Gaddis, 24. The execution, the first this year in the nation's most active death penalty state, was delayed more than three hours while the U.S. Supreme Court considered last-ditch appeals.

Lew warns Congress of debt deadline: Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is telling Congress that by late February he will run out of steps he can take to avoid a first-ever default on U.S. debt. Lew said he now thinks he will exhaust the bookkeeping maneuvers he can make to avoid breaching the federal borrowing limit sooner than previously thought. He had estimated in December that he could avoid a default until late February or early March. Under an agreement that ended the partial government shutdown in October, Congress suspended the debt limit until Feb. 7. After then, Lew would start using the bookkeeping maneuvers. He urged Congress to raise the limit before Feb. 7.

New DOD waiver policy: The Pentagon has approved a new policy that will allow troops to seek waivers to wear religious clothing, seek prayer time or engage in religious practices. Defense officials said the waivers will be decided on a case-by-case basis and will depend on where the service member is stationed and whether the change would affect military readiness or the mission. Until now there has been no consistent policy across the military to allow accommodations for religion.

Says it foiled al-Qaida plot: Israel on Wednesday said it had foiled an "advanced" al-Qaida plan to carry out a suicide bombing on the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and bomb other targets, in what analysts said was the first time the global terror network's leadership has been directly involved in plotting an attack inside Israel. The Shin Bet intelligence agency said it had arrested three Palestinians who allegedly plotted bombings, shootings, kidnappings and other attacks. It said the Palestinian men, two from Jerusalem and one from the West Bank, were recruited by an operative based in the Gaza Strip who worked for al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri. The State Department said the U.S. was not yet able to corroborate the Israeli claims.

Playtex recalls 1.4M pacifier holders: Playtex is recalling 1.4 million pacifier holders because of concern that a small child could choke if a part of the clip broke off. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday that the clips -- used to connect a pacifier to clothing, diaper bags or strollers -- can crack and a small part can break off. Playtex has received 99 reports of the holder cracking or breaking. No injuries have been reported. Consumers should stop using the pacifier holder and contact Playtex Products Inc. for a refund at (888) 220-2075 or online at www.playtexproducts.com.

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