Gaege Bethune’s attorney withdraws motion to remove special prosecutor

CARBONDALE — Attorneys for Gaege Bethune — the man whose murder conviction was thrown out in September — has withdrawn a motion to dismiss the special prosecutor in the case.

Bethune was convicted in June of murder with aggravated battery in the death of Pravin Varughese — a Southern Illinois University student from Chicago whose body was found in Carbondale in 2014. On the day Bethune was expected to be sentenced, Sept. 17, his conviction was instead thrown out by Judge Mark Clarke. While the judge said there was sufficient evidence to convict Bethune and no one acted improperly in the first trial, he said some of the wording in the indictment could have been confusing to jurors.

Clarke is no longer presiding over the case. Williamson County Judge Jeffrey Goffinet was assigned the case in November. At a hearing Wednesday, he set a new court date for January to consider multiple motions made by defense lawyers and prosecutors that would affect how a new trial for Bethune would proceed.

Thursday, defense attorney Steve Greenberg asked to withdraw one of those motions — namely, the motion to dismiss special prosecutor David Robinson.

Pravin Varugheses’ mother, Lovely Varughese, sent Local 6 a copy of the motion Thursday. You can read the document below this story, or click here to download the pdf.