Charges against Gaege Bethune dropped

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Gaege Bethune

A special prosecutor has decided to drop the charges against Gaege Bethune, 24, was convicted of murdering Indian American Pravine Varughese in 2014, though they plan to rebuild his case.

In September, according to an earlier News India Times report, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Mark Clarke dismissed Bethune’s case claiming that the wording in the indictment may have confused some of the jurors.

According to a Chicago Tribune report, the case is to be re-investigated.

Varughese, 19, was found dead in the woods five days after he was reported missing, and while an autopsy confirmed the cause of death as hypothermia, his family’s independent autopsy report showed blunt force trauma as the cause of death, News India Times had reported earlier.

The Niles West High School graduate had a drunken fight with Bethune while the two drove around Carbondale and Varughese wandered into the woods as the temperatures sank, prosecutors told the Chicago Tribune.

Once the Varughese family vigorously fought the case, Bethune was convicted of first-degree murder on June 14.

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