Jury convicts ex-professor of murder in stabbing death
CHICAGO (AP) — A jury convicted a former Northwestern University professor of first-degree murder on Thursday in the 2017 stabbing death of his boyfriend.
Jurors in Cook County deliberated less than two hours before returning the guilty verdict against Wyndham Lathem, 47, a renowned microbiologist whom Northwestern fired after he fled the Chicago area following the killing.
During nine days of testimony, prosecutors described Lathem as a coldblooded killer who stabbed defenseless 26-year-old Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau. Defense lawyers argued that their client was a victim who was being framed by Andrew Warren, a British national who pleaded guilty for his part in the murder.
Jurors were sent back to deliberate around 3: 30 p.m. Thursday after a few hours of closing arguments and reached their decision about 5: 15 p.m.
On Tuesday, Lathem testified that Warren alone stabbed Cornell-Duranleau during what started as a methamphetamine-fueled sexual encounter involving the three men.
Warren in 2019 pleaded guilty to first-degree murder as part of a plea agreement that called for him to testify against Lathem in exchange for receiving a 45-year prison sentence.
Warren was an Oxford University finance officer at the time. He testified that he flew to Chicago with Lathem to make a pact and kill each other, before agreeing to murder Cornell-Duranleau on Lathem’s advice. He testified that he actually stabbed Cornell-Duranleau but only after Lathem began stabbing him.