Hearing delayed on motion to drop charges in Bethune case - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Hearing delayed on motion to drop charges in Bethune case

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MURPHYSBORO, Ill. -- New details emerge in the case of a man charged with murdering a SIU student in 2014.

Prosecutors planned to drop charges against Gaege Bethune Wednesday, but postponed their motion for another couple weeks.

Special prosecutor David Robinson declined to comment about what the information is. He told the judge that he learned of some new information about a half-hour before Wednesday's hearing and needs some time to digest it.

Bethune faces charges in the death of Pravin Varughese.

A jury convicted him in June but a few months later, a judge tossed the verdict out due to an issue with how the indictment was written.

Now prosecutors plan to drop the charges as they're currently worded. The move would allow them to seek another indictment from a grand jury.

Liam Kelly, Bethune's lawyer, said he's not sure why the motion wasn't heard Wednesday and didn't want to speculate.

"The only position that we have is that we are ready and willing to proceed to trial, and we could do that at any point in time, if and when they decide to proceed," Kelly said. "But we, frankly, wouldn't be surprised if this case never proceeds to trial and the reason would be because they do not have a viable legal theory to charge Mr. Bethune with murder."

Everyone agreed to hold another hearing on Robinson's motion to drop the charges Jan. 23.

Bethune's lawyer has also filed a motion to have his bond payment refunded.

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