Final day of testimony in Bethune trial - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Final day of testimony in Bethune trial

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MURPHYSBORO -- Testimony wraps up in Gaege Bethune's murder trial, including statements from the suspect himself. 

Bethune's accused of murdering Pravin Varughese in February 2014.

Wednesday was his second day of testimony, where he tried explaining what happened the night Varughese died.

He spent most of the day going through every statement he ever made to police, noting which ones were the truth and which ones were lies.

But he said he was only lying because he thought he might get a DUI, and he was always upfront about somebody running into the woods.

Prosecutors also went asked about comments Bethune made to friends and family.

Bethune said he drove all the way from West Frankfort to Carbondale for a party that night.

He admitted that was a lie.

Bethune also told the Trooper a black hitch hiker tried to rob him.

He admitted that was a lie as well.

Bethune even told his cousin, Jonathan Stanley, that he chased Pravin, hit him, and knocked him out.

Bethune admitted to saying that, but he says he was lying just to sound tough.

The story Bethune said is the truth is that he tried giving Pravin a ride home got to the outskirts of Carbondale, told Pravin to get out because Bethune was running low on gas and wasn't sure where Pravin was taking him, and then Pravin got physical with him.

The fight happened right off Route 13 near Buffalo Wild Wings, where Trooper Christopher Martin noticed a truck with it's blinkers on.

Bethune told the trooper about the fight and that someone was in the woods.

Bethune's lawyer, Mike Wepsiec, grilled Martin about his actions that night.

He pointed out Martin never called for assistance, never saw the alcohol in Bethune's truck, and never looked in the woods, despite Bethune telling him someone was out there.

Trooper Martin said he didn't believe Bethune's story, so he didn't investigate further.

And he said he's not sure if Varughese would still be alive, if he did.

After Trooper Martin's testimony, both sides rested their case.

That means closing arguments will be Thursday, and then Bethune's life is in the jury's hands.

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