EVANSTON, Ill. — A former Northwestern University professor is on trial in the stabbing death of his boyfriend as part of what prosecutors said was a sexual fantasy he shared with another man also charged in the case.
Prosecutors allege Wyndham Lathem stabbed Trenton Cornell nearly 70 times.
The bulk of Wednesday saw Andrew Warren on the stand. Warren is the other man charged with the gruesome murder. He already pleaded guilty in a deal with the expectation that he would testify against Lathem.
Warren’s testimony and prosecutor’s questions paint Lathem as the leader in Cornell’s murder and Warren as the follower.
In court, Warren’s testimony was both graphic and triggering for some.
Warren said in 2017, he was depressed with suicidal thoughts and went looking online for someone who would help him carry that out.
According to Warren, that’s how he connected with Lathem. Warren said Lathem paid for his plane ticket to Chicago from the United Kingdom where he lived, put him up in a hotel, and discussed ways they would kill each other. Warren said they even traveled to St. Louis to try to buy a gun.
That night, once they returned to Chicago, Warren said on the stand that Lathem texted him with a change of plans. Lathem wanted to kill his boyfriend – Cornell – who was sleeping in his River North apartment.
On the stand, Warren said he texted Lathem back saying ‘go ahead’ because ‘I didn’t want to be a part of it.’ However, he later said he did become a part of it after Lathem started stabbing the victim.
Warren also said Lathem rented the car they used to drive and navigated them to California as they tried to get away. After several days, Warren said he asked to be dropped off at a police station in San Francisco to turn himself in.
Lathem’s defense attorneys asked Warren if the victim could have been a rival for Lathem’s affection, and while he said yes, he also said there was no spark between him and Lathem.