Friday 23 August 2019

British man to give evidence against professor in Chicago stabbing case

Oxford University worker Andrew Warren’s has made a written plea agreement.

Andrew Warren (San Francisco Sheriff’s Department/PA)
Andrew Warren (San Francisco Sheriff’s Department/PA)

By Associated Press Reporters

A British man accused in the fatal stabbing of a hairstylist in Chicago has agreed to plead guilty and give evidence against his co-defendant in exchange for a 45-year prison sentence.

Andrew Warren’s written plea agreement comes almost two years after 26-year-old Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau’s body was discovered on July 27 2017, riddled with stab wounds in an apartment in River North.

Prosecutors later said he had been stabbed 70 times and with such brutality that he was nearly decapitated. His throat was slit and pulmonary artery torn.

The discovery prompted a nationwide manhunt for Warren and Wyndham Lathem, a Northwestern University professor who lived in the apartment and was eventually identified as Mr Cornell-Duranleau’s boyfriend.

Wyndham Lathem (Chicago Police/PA)

Lathem and Warren, who at that point worked at Oxford University, surrendered to authorities in California days later.

Prosecutors spelled out how Warren and Lathem met in an online chatroom where they hatched a plot to kill Mr Cornell-Duranleau and then themselves.

Natosha Toller, an assistant Cook County state’s attorney, described the plan as a sexual fantasy, but after they killed Lathem’s lover, they lost their nerve and fled Chicago on a strange road trip to California that included a stop at a public library in which they made large donations in Mr Cornell-Duranleau’s name.

The two, who both pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, are being held without bond in jail in Chicago.

No trial date has been set for Lathem, once a respected associate professor of microbiology-immunology at Northwestern. He is scheduled to return to court next week.

About half a dozen friends and relatives of Mr Cornell-Duranleau attended the hearing for 58-year-old Warren, but left the courthouse without speaking to the media.

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