Bethune Pleads Not Guilty in Varughese Case

Jul 18, 2017

The man accused of killing a student from SIU-Carbondale in 2014 entered his plea in Jackson County Court.

The Daily Egyptian reports Gaege Bethune pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two counts of first-degree murder of SIU-C student Pravin Varughese.

Bethune waived a formal hearing.

His attorney, Michael Wepsiec, said he is filing for a change of venue because the case has been so highly publicized in the region.

Bethune was the last person to see Varughese alive after giving him a ride in February 2014. Varughese's body was found in a wooded area along Route 13 in the eastern part of Carbondale almost a week later.

A Jackson County coroner's autopsy showed no evidence of foul play, although a second autopsy - called for by the family - showed Varughese suffered a traumatic blow to the head.