Gaege Bethune appears in court in Varughese murder case - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Gaege Bethune appears in court in Varughese murder case

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MURPHYSBORO -- Prosecutors laid out evidence against the man accused of killing an SIU student in 2014, Monday.

Gaege Bethune faces a charge of first degree murder in the death of Pravin Varughese.

He was in court for a case management conference focused on evidence the prosecution wants to submit for trial.

Special prosecutor David Robinson discussed several motions, hoping to admit mostly anecdotal evidence about accusations of crimes Bethune may have committed.

"A defendant deserves his right to put on his case and time to prepare and the judge is going to give him that and we respect that," Robinson said.

The prosecution also detailed Bethune's history on social media, pointing to tweets he sent in April 2013 describing how he hustles people and busts heads. They also discussed Facebook messages from February of this year where a man asks Bethune for "a lil bit" of something, but before they got specific, both men decided to move the conversation to Snapchat.

Other discussions centered on police interviews in which investigators say Bethune lied about where he went after his run-in with Varughese in 2014.

Bethune said he went to his mother's house but the detective found he actually met up with a 16-year-old girl and asked her if she wanted cocaine.

The prosecution also said Bethune's ex-girlfriend accused him of sexual assault but his defense attorney pointed out that none of the charges ever made it to court, much less to a conviction.

Pravin's mother, Lovely Varughese, said she already knew about everything discussed Monday but it was still tough to sit across from the man she believes killed her son.

"Today, I thought I was going to pass out," Varughese said. "Just sitting there, watching him, rocking in the chair and all, it's just… it's hard."

And she has many more hearings to sit through.

"This is going to be a game in the court, back-and-forth, back-and-forth, so I have to prepare my mind that I'm here for a long run," Varughese said. "This is a marathon."

The marathon continues at the next hearing on Jan. 5.

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