Former Northwestern Wyndham Lathem teacher bailed 53 for murder of boyfriend Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau – CBS Chicago
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Former Northwestern University professor Wyndham Lathem was sentenced to 53 years in prison on Tuesday for what prosecutors called the 2017 murder of her boyfriend.
Lathem was convicted of first-degree murder in October last year of the 2017 stabbing death of her boyfriend, James Cornell-Duranleau.
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Cook County Criminal Court Judge Charles Burns sentenced Lathem on Tuesday.
Cornell-Duranleau’s murder was part of what prosecutors said was a sexual fantasy he shared with another man charged in the case.
Lathem was accused of stabbing Cornell-Duranleau — a 26-year-old hairstylist from Michigan — dozens of times in Lathem’s apartment tower on State Street in River North.
Lathem, a renowned microbiologist, and Andrew Warren, an Oxford University financial officer, were arrested in California after an eight-day manhunt for Cornell-Duranleau’s death. Warren pleaded guilty in 2019.
During his trial, Lathem took the stand to claim that Warren committed the crime while cowering in a nearby bathroom.
A day after blaming Warren, who pleaded guilty to murder for his role in the killing, Lathem, when questioned by the prosecutor, admitted that not only had he not tried to stop Warren from killing her boyfriend, but that he he had taken a shower. before the two flee together.
From the witness stand, he said he was in shock and believed authorities would blame him for the Cornell-Duranleau murder. But he acknowledged that he had ample opportunity to tell someone what had happened, starting with the doorman of his building.
He also said he didn’t tell any of the many people he encountered after he and Warren fled Chicago before the two were arrested eight days later in northern California after led authorities on a nationwide manhunt.
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Lathem later testified that Warren alone stabbed Cornell-Duranleau during what began as a meth-fueled sexual encounter involving the three men.
“I didn’t stop Andrew from hurting her, I didn’t,” Lathem said. “I hid in the bathroom like a coward.”
This contradicts testimony earlier in the trial of Warren, who in 2019 pleaded guilty to first-degree murder as part of a plea deal that called him to testify against Lathem in exchange for a 45-year sentence of jail.
Warren, who was an Oxford University financial officer at the time of the murder, said he flew from England to Chicago to meet Lathem and enter into a pact to kill each other before dying. agree to kill Cornell-Duranleau, 26. at Lathem’s suggestion.
He testified that he had, in fact, stabbed Cornell-Duranleau, but only after Lathem had already begun stabbing him.
Lathem’s testimony at trial also contradicts what he said on video linked to an email he sent to his parents days after the murder.
“He trusted me completely and felt safe with me, and I betrayed that,” Lathem said on the video the parents turned to the US Marshal’s Service and played twice for the jury during his trial. “I took everything off when I killed him.”
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(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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