Pravin varughese

Gaege Bethune is charged with murder in the death of an Indian American Southern Illinois University student, 19-year-old Pravin Varughese. (Jackson County, Illinois Sheriff’s Department mugshot)

CHICAGO — The attorney for a man accused in the 2014 death of an Indian American Southern Illinois University student from suburban Chicago says he will file a motion for a change of venue.

The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale reports attorney Michael Wepsiec Jan. 5 told Jackson County Circuit Judge Mark Clarke that social media discussions are part of his basis for moving the trial of Gaege Bethune.

Bethune of Eldorado is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Pravin Varughese.

The body of the 19-year-old Varughese was found in a wooded area in Carbondale, five days after he was reported missing (see earlier India-West story here). Bethune was arrested three years after the victim’s mother challenged original findings that her son died accidentally from exposure to the cold.

Bethune has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

Illinois state’s attorney appellate prosecutor David Robinson said the state will be objecting to the change of venue.

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