Chris Latham seeks protective order against estranged wife who was target of Charleston murder-for-hire plot
Banker Chris Latham is seeking a protective order against his estranged wife, Nancy, claiming she and her half-brother, a convicted triple-murderer, wish to harm him.
The motion, filed late this afternoon, came one day after Nancy Latham filed her own request for a protective order against Christopher Latham, saying she is fearful for her life after a plot to kill her was foiled earlier this month, according to court documents.
Her filing alleges Chris Latham was involved in or “at a minimum had knowledge of the plot and plan to kill” Nancy Latham and “did nothing to stop it,” the document stated.
Christopher Latham, who has not been charged with a crime, countered with allegations that he’d been stalked by his wife and her half-brother, John Hall Cannon, who killed three family members in 1971 and is now out on parole. Chris Latham said in an affidavit that his wife threatened on numerous occasions to “do anything necessary to ‘destroy me’ and my career.”
Her attorney, Timothy Madden, said he had not seen the filing and could not comment on its contents.
The Post and Courier was unable to reach Cannon today or determine whether he is represented by legal counsel.
Stephen Schmutz, a criminal defense attorney advising Chris Latham, said he has never seen a case play out in the media the way this one has, with his client being unfairly maligned in the process.
“There are so many unfounded allegations being made by Miss Latham, all in an effort to publicly trash Chris Latham,” he said. “It’s shameful and it’s wrong.”
A Family Court judge had already ordered Nancy Latham and her husband to stay away from each other. An October order in their bitter divorce case restrains them from having physical contact with each other or being at each other’s homes, as well as from harassing, threatening, interfering with or bothering the other in any way.
Her attorney, Madden, said the order requested Monday would provide an extra level of protection, with an added request that Christopher Latham be ordered to surrender any firearms in his possession.
“She is very concerned for her safety,” he said.
On April 5, Charleston police found out Nancy Latham was the intended target of a murder-for-hire plot. The information was volunteered by Russell Wilkinson, 39, of Louisville, KY, after he and his wife, Bethany, were pulled over in downtown Charleston.
Wilkinson told investigators he was hired to kill Nancy Latham and had been conspiring with Wendy Annette Moore, 37, and Moore’s ex-husband Samuel Yenawine, 38, of Louisville, KY. All three were arrested and charged in federal court and currently remain behind bars.
The motion in the Latham’s divorce case alleges that Moore is Chris Latham’s live-in girlfriend and that he conspired with her to kill Nancy Latham. Nancy Latham made similar allegations in a civil lawsuit she recently filed against her husband and the three defendants behind bars.
According to the protective order filing, Nancy Latham believes that she was supposed to be killed before she and her husband’s scheduled divorce hearing in April. Before that hearing, Chris Latham insisted on knowing her current address, the document states.
It also states that Chris Latham regularly communicated with the Town of Sullivan’s Island in an effort to have Nancy Latham go to the island’s police department on certain dates and times. That information was communicated to the hired killers, the document stated.
Nancy Latham had been fighting a trespass notice filed against her by Chris Latham, who alleged she had snuck into his Sullivan’s Island home, according to an incident report. Chris Latham also has accused his wife of adultery.
The protective order filing also lists the reasons Chris Latham would benefit from his wife’s death. For one, the divorce hearing would have revealed the relationship between Moore and Chris Latham, which violates Bank of America U.S. Trust policy, therefore possibly leading to Chris Latham’s termination. Before her arrest Moore worked as Chris Latham’s assistant at the bank, according to the document.
The motion also stated alimony was a reason Chris Latham would want Nancy dead. Chris Latham had already been ordered to pay nearly $8,000 a month to his wife for housing, health insurance and other items. It also lists avoiding prison and contempt of court as ways Chris Latham would benefit from Nancy Latham’s death by preventing a divorce hearing from ever happening.
The document also details why Nancy Latham still fears her estranged husband, including his ownership of several firearms. The documents states that Chris Latham owns handguns, rifles and possibly a shotgun, “none of which were found when law enforcement officials searched the Sullivan’s Island residence.” The home on Brownwell Avenue was searched by federal agents on April 11. Latham had lived in the home, which he had leased, for at least a year.
“Plaintiff (Nancy Latham) and her daughters are under police protection and in fear of their safety,” the document stated.
Her attorney, Madden, would not say where Nancy Latham is staying or whether she is still in the Charleston area.
He has asked the court to approve a restraining order that would keep Chris Latham from communicating with Nancy Latham and their children. The request will be heard during a scheduled hearing in Family Court in May.
Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.