Ex-Northwestern professor charged in 'grisly' Chicago stabbing death

Jon Howard
August 21, 2017

Lathem, a microbiologist at Northwestern University since 2007 was not teaching at the time of the attack. He said his client "has led a life of outstanding, unblemished citizenship". They could appear in court as early as Sunday.

"The heinous facts speak for themselves", said Judge Adam Bourgeois, who deemed both men potentially unsafe and ordered them to remain in custody pending trial on first-degree murder charges.

Once he arrived, Warren told investigators that he and Lathem conferred in the bathroom, where Lathem allegedly took a drywall knife out of its packaging before authorities said he handed Warren a cell phone, telling him to record the murder. "The court has reviewed his professional and academic achievements - some of the finest in the world".

All along, the details that emerged about the case had been odd and troubling, but the circumstances laid out by the Cook County state's attorney's office on Sunday were deeply disturbing.

As Lathem continued to stab his boyfriend, Warren left the room and returned with two kitchen knives, she said.

Authorities have said the attack on Cornell-Duranleau, a MI native who moved to Chicago a year ago, was so brutal that the blade of the knife investigators believe was used in the stabbing was broken.

As Warren stood in the doorway, Lathem stabbed the sleeping Cornell-Duranleau "over and over in the neck and chest area", Toller said.

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Investigators say Lathem, who was sacked after the killing, had a personal relationship with Cornell-Duranleau.

Once in custody, prosecutors said Warren confessed to plotting the murder-suicide fantasy, and admitted that there was a plan to kill another victim the morning after Cornell-Duranleau's death - though he didn't know if the person showed up at Lathem's condo after they fled.

Warren, who says on Facebook that he lives in Swindon, Wiltshire, was suspended from his job as senior treasury assistant after Mr Cornell-Duranleau's body was discovered. After additional information revealed the pair had likely fled Chicago, CPD contacted the U.S. Marshals to seek their assistance. They turned themselves in to the authorities in California eight days after the killing.

Lahtem and Warren surrendered peacefully to police in California on August 4 after an eight-day manhunt. Warren joined in the attack, after hitting the victim in the head with a heavy lamp to subdue him, the prosecutor told the judge.

Neither man contested extradition to IL, and they arrived back here late Friday.

According to police, while Lathem was on the run, he sent a video message to various friends and family members apologizing for his alleged involvement in the killing.

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