I wanted Gaege Bethune to know that there are consequences to your actions: Lovely Varughese, mother of slain Pravin Varughese

The Varughese family
The Varughese family (from left to right): mother Lovely, father Mathew, young sister Preethi, Pravin, and older sister Priya (courtesy of Lovely Varughese)

Pravin Varughese was found dead in Carbondale back in 2014. Gaege Bethune was convicted of his murder.

Pravin Varughese was a promising young teenager and a student at Southern Illinois University. In 2014, he was found dead in the woods near the university town of Carbondale. Gaege Bethune, with whom Pravin was seen before his death, was convicted with first degree murder. However last year in September, the judge overthrew the verdict in the case and Bethune was released from jail and remains out on bond.

The verdict received loud surprise from all quarters and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it was Lovely Varughese, Pravin’s mom, who has been fighting the case, who was hit the hardest. Lovely Varughese talking to the American Bazaar says, “Well, currently we are back where we were in 2015 with the case. The prosecutor is preparing the case all over again. The first time it took 3 years for the prosecutors to put up the case together. We do not know what happens tomorrow, but yes today I have more peace than I ever did. And that is because I know who killed my son. For me Gaege Bethune standing in the witness box and admitting that he hit Pravin on the ride side of his head, exactly the place where we saw the dent on Pravin’s body was a closure. I always knew that my son did not die on his own. If he had the slightest strength he would not have been in the woods, he would have walked out. He was injured and could not survive the hurt.”

RELATED: For Pravin Varughese’s mom, closure finally comes with the charging of son’s suspected killer, Gaege Bethune (July 22, 2017)

Lovely adds, “But I wanted the world to know that my son was not a drug-dealer, he was not drunk. He died because he was hit. I did not want Gaege to be put behind bars for his life. But yes, I wanted him to know that there are consequences to your actions and I want the law to hold him accountable.”

On displaying a rare magnanimity when she says she doesn’t want to see the convict behind bars for life, Lovely says, “I have to think here how Pravin would have thought. I am sure if my son was here he would have told Gaege, ‘Buddy learn from your mistake and move on.’ I want to say the same to him. Admit that you made a mistake and carry on with your life.”


  1. I just heard about this case and this is infuriating…I kept looking for an update regarding a trial to finally put this dude in jail and nothing. So sad. I feel awful for Pravin’s family. This is awful and I hope they finally get justice. Unbelievable.

  2. Jennifer Gerard

    I am beyond disgusted that Gage is out of jail!!!

    His actions caused beloved Pravin to run for his safety….for his life.

    I am more than sure that due to Pravin receiving a beating from Gage that he grew weak, and, very very sadly and tragically, Pravin passed away. But make no mistake that Pravin HAD to run and MUST of ran because his life was in danger!!!

    Look at the size of Gage verses the size of Pravin. Of course he overpowered Pravin.

    This case needs to be reopened. It must be.

    What has gone on here is inhumane!!! How anyone on the jury, or who worked on this case….can let Gage go is beyond me!! How they can put their hands on the pillow and sleep well at any time of the day is beyond me!!

    Pravin did not deserve this at all. Pravin’s parents, and, sisters do not deserve for this man, who took the life of their beloved son/brother…..to be free.

    I am heartbroken for the Varguese Family.

    My thoughts, prayers, love and friendship are with The Varguese Family.

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