Man arraigned on murder charges in SIU student’s 2014 death

(AP) — A man accused in the 2014 death of a Southern Illinois University student has entered a not guilty plea on the charges.

Gaege Bethune of Eldorado was arraigned Tuesday in Jackson County Court on first-degree murder charges in the death of Pravin Varughese (VAHR’-geez).

The special prosecutor alleges Bethune committed robbery and battery of the 19-year-old Varughese. His body was found in a wooded area in Carbondale, five days after he was reported missing.

The 22-year-old Bethune was arrested last week, three years after the victim’s mother challenged original findings that her son died accidentally from exposure to the cold.

Although authorities concluded at the time there was no evidence of foul play, Lovely Varughese said a private autopsy quickly identified multiple, clear injuries to her son’s head and face.