Ex-Feinberg Prof. Wyndham Lathem pleads not guilty to 6 counts of first-degree murder


Erica Snow/Daily Senior Staffer

The Cook County Criminal Courts Administration Building, next to the George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago. Ex-Feinberg Prof. Wyndham Lathem and co-defendant Andrew Warren both pleaded not guilty on all counts of first-degree murder Thursday.

Allyson Chiu and Erica Snow

CHICAGO — Former Feinberg Prof. Wyndham Lathem and co-defendant Andrew Warren both pleaded not guilty on all counts of first-degree murder Thursday during separate arraignments.

Lathem and Warren were each charged Sept. 15 with six separate counts of first-degree murder for allegedly killing Trenton Cornell-Duranleau as part of what prosecutors called a premeditated murder-sex fantasy. Both men appeared in person to accept the charges and enter pleas at the George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building.

When reading the charges, Cook County Circuit Judge Ursula Walowski said the state is seeking extended sentences for both men due to the “cold, calculated and premeditated manner” of the alleged crime.

The state is also seeking an extended sentence on the grounds that the “offense was accompanied by exceptionally brutal and heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty,” Walowski said.

Both men, if found guilty, could face 20 years to life in prison.

During a bond court hearing in August, prosecutors said Cornell-Duranleau’s murder was allegedly part of a sexual fantasy Lathem and Warren shared, which involved killing someone and then killing themselves. Lathem and Warren also allegedly discussed the murder in an online chatroom before it happened, prosecutors said.

Police found Cornell-Duranleau’s body in Lathem’s North State Street apartment on July 27. Prosecutors said he had been stabbed 70 times.

Barry Sheppard, one of the attorneys representing Lathem, told The Daily after the arraignment he is “letting the case develop at the proper pace.”

“We’re looking forward to reviewing all the materials tendered today,” Sheppard said.

Kulmeet Galhotra, a public defender appointed to represent Warren, told reporters in a prepared statement that the case is “in its infancy,” and Warren will be provided with “vigorous defense.”

Galhotra told The Daily after the arraignment that the two men will continue to appear in court separately for security reasons.

Lathem is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 31.

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