Attorney to seek change of venue for murder trial

CHICAGO (AP) — The attorney for a man accused in the 2014 death of a 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 on Friday 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 (VAHR’-geez).

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

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