Thursday 21 September 2017

Fugitive Oxford employee appears in US court charged with hairdresser's murder

Andrew Warren (left) and US professor Wyndham Lathem. Photo: Chicago Police Department/PA Wire
Andrew Warren (left) and US professor Wyndham Lathem. Photo: Chicago Police Department/PA Wire

Sam Blewett

An Oxford University employee who spent more than a week as a fugitive with a US professor has appeared in court accused of murdering a 26-year-old hair stylist.

Somerville College's Andrew Warren (56) and Professor Wyndham Lathem (42) are suspected of repeatedly stabbing Trenton Cornell-Duranleau in the academic's Chicago apartment.

Warren confirmed he is the wanted man and declined to fight his extradition to Chicago to face a murder charge as he appeared in court in San Francisco on Friday.

The Briton, appearing in a baggy, orange prison-issued sweatshirt and jogging bottoms, was denied bail and will be held in custody.

Judge Edward Torpoco said: "Based on the nature of the charge, the defendant is remanded and no bail is set."

Warren timidly entered the room in San Francisco's Hall of Justice while being filmed and photographed by the press.

Listening to the judge's procedural questions assisted by a hearing aid, he quietly agreed he would not oppose extradition and said he would accept a public lawyer on the basis he could not afford his own.

The judge permitted filming on the basis he had already been subject to extensive publicity as the subject of an eight-day manhunt.

Warren and Lathem gave themselves up separately in California, more than 2,000 miles away from the crime scene.

Warren, who says online he lives in Swindon, Wiltshire, has since been suspended from his job as senior treasury assistant.

He had been reported missing to Thames Valley Police two days before the body was found, having left the UK on July 24.

Microbiologist Lathem, since sacked by Northwestern University, plans to plead not guilty, according to his lawyer Kenneth Wine who described him as a "gentle soul".

Chicago Police have said Lathem was in a "personal relationship" with the victim.

The force said the corpse of Mr Cornell-Duranleau, originally from Corunna, Michigan, was found mutilated in a "very violent scene" on July 27.

After the hearing, his lawyer, Ariel Boyce-Smith, said: "Mr Warren is agreeable to being transported to Chicago, he wants the process to be started.

"I just want to remind everyone that he is presumed innocent and his agreement to go there to start the process is where we are now."

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