Murder-for-hire target Nancy Latham broke her silence today, saying she and her daughters live in constant fear for their lives, subject to police protection and afraid to even venture to the grocery store.
Choking back tears, the Mount Pleasant real estate agent described her plight during a detention hearing for one of the men accused of taking money to kill her, 38-year-old Samuel Yenawine of Louisville, Ky.
Latham said her youngest daughter has to go to school with police protection and her eldest was asked to leave her first year of college because the school didn’t feel equipped to protect her from harm. They’ve now become almost like prisoners in their own home, she said.
“We sit in the house with the lights out and we stay away from the windows, with cameras surrounding us,” she said. “We don’t get to enjoy our summer. ... We are terrified.”
Latham told U.S. Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant that she fears Yenawine, one of four people implicated in the plot, will try to “finish the job” if he is allowed to get out on bail.
Yenawine’s attorney argued that his client could be trusted on home detention in Kentucky. But Marchant sided with Latham and federal prosecutors, opting to keep him behind bars until trial.
Latham, also a state lottery official, told the judge the plot to kill her stemmed from her pending divorce from Christopher Latham, a Bank of America executive. As she has done in a civil lawsuit against her estranged husband, she accused him of being involved in the plot to kill her.
Nancy Latham said a photograph and information on her shopping habits found in the “hit package” provided to the contract killers could only have come from one source.
“My husband makes a great deal of money and he has a lot of influence in the community, and he stands to lose a lot if I speak out at my divorce,” she said.
She said her husband has even more reason to wish her harm now that the plot has been exposed.
Christopher Latham has not been charged with a crime, and prosecutors have made no statements tying him to the attempt on his wife’s life.
His attorney, Stephen Schmutz, did not attend the hearing, but later said Nancy Latham has been saying the same thing for some time. “I think it’s interesting and significant that the U.S. government has never mentioned Chris Latham’s name,” he said.
Also charged in the plot is Yenawine’s his ex-wife, 37-year-old Wendy Annette Moore, who is Chris Latham’s girlfriend and his assistant at the bank, authorities said. The other co-defendants are Yenawine’s girlfriend, Rachel Palmer, 36, of Louisville; and Louisville resident Russell Wilkinson, 39.
The plot came to light in April after Wilkinson was stopped by Charleston police while looking to buy heroin on the East Side. Police found a gun in his car, and he volunteered information about the scheme to kill Nancy Latham to officers, police said.
Moore is accused of hiring the Yenawine to do the job, and he, in turn, contracted Wilkinson’s services to “watch his back,” ATF agent Joseph Boykin testified today. Moore is Chris Latham’s girlfriend and works for him at Bank of America, he said.
Check back with postandcourier.com for updates on this story.