CHICAGO - Wyndham Lathem, the former Northwestern University professor found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2017 stabbing death of his boyfriend, Trenton Cornell, was sentenced to 53 years in prison on Tuesday.
Cook County Judge Charles Burns called the killing of Trenton Cornell-Duranleau “cold-blooded” and an “execution” as he sentenced Wyndham Lathem, 47, who was found guilty of first-degree murder in October.
Back in October, 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.
Cornell-Duranleau was stabbed more than 70 times on July 27, 2017, by Lathem and Andrew Warren, a British man who Lathem had paid to come to Chicago to commit the murder together, prosecutors said.
During nine days of testimony, prosecutors described Lathem as a coldblooded killer who stabbed defenseless 26-year-old Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau. Defense attorneys argued their client was a bystander framed by the actual killer, alleged co-conspirator Andrew Warren, a British national who pleaded guilty to his role in the slaying.
Lathem testified during his trial that Warren alone stabbed Cornell-Duranleau during what started as a methamphetamine-fueled sexual encounter involving the three men.
Warren, who was an Oxford University financial officer at the time of the slaying, testified that he flew from England to Chicago to meet Lathem and take part in a pact to kill each other before agreeing to kill Cornell-Duranleau at Lathem’s suggestion.
He testified that he did, in fact, stab Cornell-Duranleau, but only after Lathem had already begun stabbing him.
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Notes & References
Tareen, Sophia. “From Respected at Elite Universities to Wanted for Murder.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, August 7, 2017. https://apnews.com/article/north-america-us-news-ap-top-news-mi-state-wire-oxford-413f074804e3486b8959edac8d72cb68. ↩︎
“Professor Charged in Stabbing Death Blames Another Man.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, October 6, 2021. https://apnews.com/article/chicago-crime-education-9c91a525a2a9d4613b0747cff168d136. ↩︎
“British Man to Testify against Professor in Chicago Stabbing.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, July 22, 2019. https://apnews.com/b17b2d50166845dc88380d5d375ce3fd. ↩︎