The brutal stabbing death of a MI man who was working in Chicago as a hairstylist was part of a sexual fantasy plotted in online discussions between a Northwestern University professor and an Oxford University staffer, prosecutors told a judge.
Prosecutors said Lathem picked Warren up at O'Hare Airport a few days prior to the brutal killing of Trenton H. James Cornell-Duranleau, who was found dead inside Lathem's River North condo on July 27.
Police want to know why Warren, who arrived in the US roughly 36 hours before the murder, came to this country and how and why he ended up connecting with Lathem. That was not the motive. "It was a little bit more dark and disturbing, as far as I'm concerned".
Lathem, 46, had communicated for months before with Andrew Warren, 56, about "carrying out their sexual fantasies of killing others and then themselves", Natosha Toller, an assistant Cook County state's Attorney, told the court. Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi called the murder "very graphic".
Cornell-Duranleau, a MI native, had been asleep in Lathem's high-rise Chicago condo when Lathem let Warren into the 10th-floor unit around 4:30 a.m. on July 27 - treading carefully so as not to wake the victim.
Both men then leaned over Cornell-Duranleau and stabbed him again and again, prosecutors said. The next day, a doorman for the apartment building received a call, possibly from Lathem, urging him to check the apartment, the detective said.
The two men turned themselves in to police on August 4, following a two-week manhunt that began after the body of Trenton Cornell-Duranleau was discovered in Lathem's River North apartment.
Cornell-Duranleau arrived at Lathem's residence that evening, according to police, who said the two were seen on surveillance video entering the building together. Two knives, one of which was broken, were found at the scene.
According to prosecutors, the defendants had meant to kill one another - Mr. Warren was to shoot Mr. Lathem while he was stabbing Mr. Warren. Lathem previously invoked his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights, and law enforcement officials will not be allowed to ask him any questions without an attorney present.
After hearing the evidence against them, the judge on Sunday ordered Lathem and Warren to remain behind bars, pending trial on first-degree murder charges, the AP said.
Microbiologist Lathem, since sacked by Northwestern University, plans to plead not guilty, according to his lawyer Kenneth Wine. He's also been banned from the university's campuses in Evanston and Chicago. He had worked at the university as an associate professor of microbiology. He had primarily researched bacteria that causes disease in humans, particularly lung infections, according to his university biography page, which has been removed.
After the killing, Lathem sent a video to friends and relatives apologizing for his involvement, saying it was the "biggest mistake of my life". "I've been here 14 years, and I've never heard of problems such as that".