Wilkinson arraigned on federal charges in Nancy Latham murder-for-hire plot; not-guilty plea entered


Russell Wilkinson, one of four suspects in the Nancy Latham murder-for-hire plot, was arraigned Tuesday on federal charges that could land him behind bars for more than 30 years.

Wilkinson, 39, of Louisville, Ky., said little during the hearing in U.S. District Court in Charleston, and he did not object to Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant’s decision to keep him locked up while the case proceeds.

A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf, though Wilkinson has implicated himself in the crime and provided authorities with a detailed account of how the plot transpired.

Latham, a Mount Pleasant real estate agent who is treasurer of the S.C. Education Lottery Commission, watched the proceeding but did not address the court. She was accompanied to the courthouse by a private security guard and declined to speak with reporters afterward.

The plot to kill her unraveled when Wilkinson revealed details of the scheme after he was pulled over by Charleston police on April 5 and found to have a .32-caliber pistol and ammunition inside his car, police have said.

Also charged in the case are Samuel Yenawine, 38, of Louisville; his girlfriend, Rachel Palmer, 36, of Louisville; and his ex-wife, 37-year-old Wendy Annette Moore, who lives in the Charleston area.

Wilkinson faces four counts related to the alleged conspiracy. Marchant told Wilkinson he faces up to 35 years in prison and $750,000 in fines if he is convicted on all counts.

Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or Twitter.com/glennsmith5.

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