Lawyer drops bid to get rid of prosecutor in Varughese case - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Lawyer drops bid to get rid of prosecutor in Varughese case

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MURPHYSBORO, Ill. -- The lawyer representing a man accused of killing a SIU student in 2014 drops his bid to get rid of the special prosecutor in the case.

Gaege Bethune faces murder charges in the death of Pravin Varughese.

Special Prosecutor David Robinson wants to drop those charges since a judge threw out a jury's conviction in September due to how the indictment was worded.

But since Robinson's role in the case stems from the death investigation, everyone agreed Wednesday to settle that matter first.

Steve Greenberg, Bethune's lawyer, said after Wednesday's hearing that no one is more affected by the investigation into Varughese's death than Bethune, which is why he filed motions in that case to remove the special prosecutor.

Now he says it's better to step away from the death investigation so the criminal case can end.

"After the hearing, it appears that the special prosecutor feels that what we had filed in the (death investigation) case somehow may impact his ability to do the right thing and dismiss the murder charges," Greenberg said. "We certainly don't want to stand in the way of that so we're withdrawing what we filed."

Robinson said he welcomes this move by Greenberg since he feels the motion to remove him was "unfounded and meritless."

The criminal case is still set for a hearing Jan. 9 on Robinson's motion to drop the charges against Bethune.

He said he's doing that so the case can return to the pre-indictment stage.

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