Suspect in murder-for-hire plot will head to South Carolina soon

Samuel Arthur Yenawine of the Lousville, Ky, area was booked into the Oldham County (Kentucky) Jail on April 8 after being accused of plotting to kill a Charleston woman for money. @Photo credit:Oldham County Detention Center.

A federal judge in Kentucky ruled there is probable cause to charge one of the men accused in the murder-for-hire plot that targeted Nancy Latham.

In doing so, U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin, of the Western Kentucky District, cleared the way for Samuel Arthur Yenawine, 38, of Louisville to be sent to South Carolina.

He’s been charged with conspiracy and travel in interstate commerce with the intent to commit murder, aiding and abetting, and felon in possession of a firearm.

Yenawine’s attorney, Bill Butler, tried to discredit the man who led federal agents to Yenawine, Russell Wilkinson, 39, of Louisville, Ky. Butler tried to paint Wilkinson as a heroin addict and convicted felon.

After they were pulled over in a high traffic area, Wilkinson and his wife Bethany admitted they used heroin, an ATF agent who testified during today’s hearing said. He also said the ATF was still able to corroborate Wilkinson’s story.

Wendy Annette Moore, 37, of Sullivan’s Island, and Wilkinson appeared before a federal judge in Charleston last week, when the judge determined there was enough probable cause for the case against them to move forward. The two remain in custody at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center.

It was unclear Tuesday afternoon exactly when Yenawine would be extradited to South Carolina.

Nancy Latham is a real estate agent on Isle of Palms. She’s been in hiding since the arrest of the trio on April 5. Police pulled over a vehicle in Charleston driven by Wilkinson. He informed police he was involved in a murder-for-hire plot intended to target Nancy Latham, according to the criminal complaint document.

Nancy and her husband Chris Latham were involved in a bitter divorce that was put on hold by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, that advised it wouldn’t be advisable to go forward during a scheduled hearing.

Reporter Mark Vanderhoff of The Courier-Journal in Louisville, KY contributed to this report.


Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.

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