Trial for Homicide to Begin, Charged with Murder of Indian American in IllinoisTop Stories

May 29, 2018 11:58
Trial for Homicide to Begin, Charged with Murder of Indian American in Illinois

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The Southern Illinois University student charged with a murder of young Indian American four years ago will go on a trail on June 4.

Gaege Bethune, 23, is charged with first degree murder of Pravin Varughese, a 19-year-old student who was found dead in Wooded area in Carbondale, Illinois on Feb 18. 2014.

In an initial report it was concluded that Varughese has died from hypothermia, by being out in frigid woods. But as Varughese family commissioned a second postmortem examination, it was determined that Varughese died of blunt force trauma to the head.

If convicted with both the charges, Bethune will be facing 40-120 year imprisonment.

According to Bethune's statement to police, he picked up a intoxicated Varughese from the road side as he was reverting from the party. When he asked Varughese for gas money, the young man fled out of the car.

The jury reported that Bethune had acknowledged of punching Varughese multiple times, rendering victim dead weight. It as well noted that Bethune caused bodily harm including forehead contusions and impressions consistent with blunt force trauma.  

Lovely Varughese, mother of the victim believes racial bias was involved in not only her son’s death, but in the ensuing investigation. “The search for Pravin was never taken seriously. The officers told us that this happens frequently. They had a ‘been there, done that’ attitude, but we knew he was in danger. I’m glad this has finally started. But I’m preparing myself for a marathon run,” Lovely Varughese told this publication last year, after Bethune made his first appearance in court.

By Sowmya Sangam

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