CHICAGO – A former Northwestern University professor is set to stand trial in the stabbing death of his boyfriend as part of what prosecutors said was a sexual fantasy he shared with another man who was charged in the case.
Jury selection, opening statements and testimony from at least one witness were expected to happen Monday in the trial of 47-year-old Wyndham Lathem, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Lathem is charged in the July 2017 killing of Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau, a 26-year-old hair stylist from Michigan who was stabbed dozens of times in Lathem's Chicago high-rise condominium. Lathem, a renowned microbiologist, and Andrew Warren, an Oxford University financial officer who authorities say flew to Chicago from England to participate in the killing, were arrested in Northern California after an eight-day manhunt.
Prosecutors said that the two planned the killing to fulfill an apparent sexual fantasy.
In 2019, Warren pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 45 years in prison as part of a plea agreement that calls for him to testify against Lathem.
Lathem has been in Cook County Jail since he was extradited from California. Last year, he tried unsuccessfully to persuade a judge to release him on $1 million bail so that his research skills as a microbiologist could be used to battle COVID-19.
He would be the highest profile defendant to stand trial in a Chicago courtroom since in-person jury trials resumed in March following a break because of the pandemic.