CHICAGO (AP) — The fatal stabbing of a hairstylist in Chicago was part of a sexual fantasy hatched in an online chatroom between a Northwestern University professor and an Oxford University employee, whose plan included killing someone and then themselves, prosecutors told a Cook County judge Sunday at a bond hearing for the men.
An Illinois state prosecutor shared new details about the July slaying, describing to the court how Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau, the 26-year-old boyfriend of since-fired professor Wyndham Lathem, was stabbed some 70 times and with such brutality that he was nearly decapitated. His throat was slit and his pulmonary artery torn.
“The heinous facts speak for themselves,” said Judge Adam Bourgeois, who deemed both men potentially dangerous and ordered them to remain in custody pending trial on first-degree murder charges.
Lathem and Andrew Warren, an Oxford financial official, were dressed in their own clothes Sunday inside the Chicago courtroom. They stood with their hands behind their backs as the judge spoke.
Cornell-Duranleau, a Michigan native, had been asleep in Lathem’s high-rise Chicago condo when Lathem began plunging a 6-inch dry-wall saw knife into his chest and neck, prosecutor Natosha Toller said. When the victim awoke, he began screaming and fought back.
Toller said Lathem then yelled at Warren, who was standing in a nearby doorway, and asked him for help.
Warren ran over to cover the victim’s mouth, then struck him in the head with a heavy lamp in an attempt to silence him, Toller said. As Lathem continued to stab his boyfriend, Warren left the room and returned with two kitchen knives, she said.
Warren bent over Cornell-Duranleau and joined Lathem in stabbing him, the prosecutor said.
She said the victim’s last words were addressed to Lathem: “Wyndham, what are you doing?”
Only Warren, a British citizen, spoke briefly when the judge asked if he wanted a British diplomatic office to be contact. “No,” Warren said.
Toller said Lathem and Warren had talked in detail beforehand about how they would kill themselves. She said Lathem was supposed to stab Warren to death as Warren was fatally shooting him.
Lathem and Warren surrendered peacefully to California authorities on Aug. 4 after an eight-day manhunt.