crime scene
Representative image Wikimedia Commons

A former Northwestern University professor named Wyndham Lathem has been sentenced to prison for 53 years after being found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2018 stabbing death of his 26-year-old boyfriend, Trenton Cornell-Duranleau.

Cornell-Duranleau was stabbed more than 70 times by Lathem and his accomplice Andrew Warren, an Oxford financial officer who Lathem had paid to fly from England to Chicago to meet him as part of a pact to first kill Cornell-Durnleau, then each other. The murder took place on July 27, 2017, in a methamphetamine-fueled sexual encounter between the three men.

Warren and Lathem then fled Chicago after the attack and were found in California after an eight-day manhunt. Cook County Judge Charles Burns called the murder “cold-blooded” and an “execution,” the Associated Press reported.

During the trial, Lathem tried to pin the murder on Warren and testified that he “hid in the bathroom like a coward,” while making no effort to stop Warren. Warren later pled guilty in 2019 as part of an agreement to receive a 45-year prison sentence. Warren testified he did stab Cornell-Duranleau, but only after Lathem began stabbing him.

Lathem’s attorney Adam Shepard told NBC News that there are constitutional issues that merit a new trial.

“As for the sentence, we contend that it was unduly harsh given Dr. Lathem’s outstanding contributions to society and his lifetime battle against infectious disease,” he added.