Murder-for-hire suspect asks for break in his support payments to wife who was target of alleged plot
Former banker Chris Latham, jailed in connection with an alleged plot to kill his wife, again is asking a judge to curtail the $8,500 payments he shells out monthly to support her while their divorce case winds its way toward trial.
A hearing on his motion is set for Sept. 18, but it’s unclear if Latham will be able to attend, as he is locked up in the Charleston County jail on federal murder-for-hire charges. A judge on Tuesday set a Dec. 16 trial date for the couple’s divorce.
About a week after the Sullivan’s Island man’s arrest last month, his attorney, Robert Rosen, filed a motion asking the court to reconsider Latham’s support obligations to his estranged wife, Nancy, a Mount Pleasant real estate agent and state lottery official.
His motion states that Latham is unemployed, has no income and is without the means to pay the current level of support his wife has been receiving. A previous court ruling that found Latham had $99,000 at his disposal is incorrect, the motion states. In May, Latham left Bank of America, where he was making more than $600,000 a year.
The pair have been entangled for two years in a bitter divorce proceeding, in which each has accused the other of infidelity. Criminal charges were filed against Chris Latham in August, about four months after an alleged plot to kill his wife was exposed.
A certified public accountant hired by the couple as a joint expert in the divorce case recently submitted an affidavit stating that Chris Latham currently has access to between $34,000 and $70,000 in savings, only enough to cover four to eight months of his current support payments.
Accountant Patricia Wilson also pointed out that she still is owed $15,000 by the couple, a debt that is more than 90 days past due, the affidavit stated.
Rosen and Nancy Latham’s divorce attorney, Tim Madden, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
The subject of Chris Latham’s finances has come up several times throughout the case, and federal prosecutors questioned during one hearing in the criminal proceeding whether Latham was bankrolling the legal bills for 37-year-old Wendy Moore, his girlfriend and co-defendant.
A sealed motion filed in the criminal case Tuesday by federal prosecutors lists a number of checks totaling between $25,000 and $90,000 as exhibits. Those exhibits also are sealed, but attached descriptions list payments to attorneys for Moore and her ex-husband, Samuel Yenawine, a former co-defendant in the case who committed suicide while in custody in June.
Federal prosecutors declined to comment on the motion, as did David Aylor, Moore’s attorney, and Steve Schmutz, Chris Latham’s criminal attorney. Yenawine’s former attorney, Bill Butler of Louisville, Ky., did not return a call seeking comment.
In addition to Yenawine and Moore, charged in the case are Yenawine’s girlfriend, Rachel Palmer, 36, and his former prison cellmate, Russell Wilkinson, 39, both of Louisville. Wilkinson told Charleston police about the alleged plot after he was pulled over on the city’s East Side while trying to buy heroin in April, according to court documents.
Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or Twitter.com/glennsmith5.