Luisa Ines Cutting, 21, pleaded guilty to killing her friend Alexa Connor, 20, and was sentenced to 40 years for second-degree murder
After stabbing her roommate to death, a student at Radford University in Virginia sat down with police for a “rambling and bizarre” interrogation and said she’d been “doing cocaine with the devil,” prosecutors said in court prior to the killer’s guilty plea.
Luisa Ines Cutting, 21, otherwise gave no motive for her murder of Alexa Cannon, a 20-year-old psychology major from Roanoke, Virginia. But in the hours before the attack, Cutting told police she’d consumed cocaine, mushrooms, Adderall, Xanax, marijuana and alcohol, Radford City Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Rehak said in court Monday, reports The Roanoke Times.
Cutting’s attorney, Blair Howard, explained his client’s actions as the result of “a psychotic episode” triggered by drug use, according to the newspaper.
“There are no words for this tragedy and my heart is filled with sorrow and grief. … I am so, so sorry,” Cutting said in court after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.
Judge Joey Showalter sentenced Cutting to 40 years in prison, to be suspended after Cutting serves 20. She would then be placed on supervised probation for another 10 years.
When officers responded to the off-campus apartment in Radford that Cutting and Cannon shared on the morning of Jan. 24, Cutting answered the door covered in blood and then said, “Arrest me.”
She then added, “I killed her,” according to a criminal warrant previously obtained by PEOPLE.
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The decision to work with the victim’s family and accept a plea agreement instead of going to trial “secured a murder conviction, avoided any appeals, and spared Alexa’s family and friends the anguish and anxiety of a trial,” Rehak said, reports local TV station WSET.
Rehak expressed concern after the sentencing that jurors might be swayed by an insanity defense, according to the Roanoke Times. After Cutter was taken into custody and questioned by police, her statements and behavior led jail authorities to place her in a mental health facility for a week, Rehak said.
Although the two Radford University students were close friends before moving in together, Cannon had prophetically posted on social media months prior to her death, “Pray that we don’t kill each other this year.”
Among the hundreds of people who packed a memorial service for Cannon in January, Rachel Thompson told local station WDBJ, “Alexa was a bright and beautiful person.”