Nancy Latham had an important day ahead of her, the final hearing of the divorce with her husband of more than 20 years and the father of her two daughters.
The hearing was scheduled for April 8, 2013. It would mark the end of a two-year contentious process.
"We were going through a very, very, nasty divorce," said Latham, who now goes by her maiden name, Cannon.
The divorce was finalized but not until after Nancy Latham found out someone didn't want her to make it to that final hearing, according to prosecutors. Her estranged husband, Chris Latham, and his girlfriend at the time, Wendy Moore, were working hand-in-hand in planning and plotting her murder so that she'd never walk into that divorce hearing, according to the case prosecutors presented to a federal jury in downtown Charleston last week.
Moore, 37, and Latham, 51, are charged in a murder-for-hire scheme and Nancy Latham was the alleged target. But, Nancy Latham was never harmed. Instead, she took the stand Friday and testified about her ex-husband's alleged strange behavior weeks before the alleged hit was supposed to take place.
Nancy Latham, 47, became emotional throughout her testimony Friday, when she identified photographs she said were taken by Chris Latham without her knowledge. One photo was the front of her home, she believes was taken at the end of March 2013. A printed version of that photo ended up in the hit package, meant to provide necessary information to the alleged hitman, according to prosecutors. The package also included other photos, details about Nancy's life and family and maps to her Mount Pleasant home.
Other photos were taken of Nancy Latham during a hearing at the Sullivan's Island courthouse. Chris Latham had brought a trespassing citation against her, she told the jury. So the two of them were there that day when she said he must have snapped the photos.
Not long after that hearing, Nancy Latham had a knock on her door, she told the jury.
"I know if two police officers were at my door at the crack of dawn, it's not good," she said.
The investigators told Nancy they'd arrested a man named Aaron Russell Wilkinson, 40, of Louisville, Ky., in downtown Charleston on the East Side. They'd charged him with driving under suspension and they'd found a gun and a box of ammunition in his car.
But it's what he told investigators after he was arrested that led them to Nancy Latham's doorstep, according to authorities.
Wilkinson said his former prison buddy, Yenawine, who was Moore's ex-husband, was hired to kill Chris Latham's wife, Nancy, and he got caught up in the scheme. Although, he said he never had any intention of killing Nancy Latham.
Wilkinson said this during his testimony last week. He pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting murder-for-hire last month and agreed to take the stand for the prosecution.
Wilkinson said he did it because of Nancy Latham. He also hopes it will mean less prison time, according to his testimony. He faces up to 10 years.
But Moore and Latham's attorneys don't buy it. During their cross examination, the defense attorneys questioned conflicting statements Wilkinson had made in interviews with investigators and prosecutors.
Wilkinson told defense attorneys they were twisting his words. One of Moore's attorneys, David Aylor, also highlighted Wilkinson's prior criminal record, which included 72 convictions since the early 90s, most of them dealing with check fraud and probation violations.
"I'm not violent," Wilkinson said. "I've never hurt anyone."
But Bentley Price, another of Moore's attorneys, attacked Wilkinson's credibility during opening statements Monday, when he said Wilkinson is a convicted felon, heroin addict and a liar.
So far, prosecutors have presented text messages and phone records between Yenawine and Wilkinson. They've also presented evidence regarding Money Gram transactions from Wendy Moore to Yenawine.
Earlier this week, prosecutors also called Nancy Latham's divorce attorney, Tim Madden, who testified to support the prosecutors statements that Chris Latham had motive and it was about money.
"There was a lot of money at stake," said Nathan Williams, one of the Assistant U.S. Attorney's prosecuting the case.
Chris Latham was standing to lose potentially millions of dollars in alimony and child support, according to Madden's testimony.
Prosecutors have more witnesses to present next week. But Nancy Latham is not done speaking yet. She will continue her testimony on Tuesday before defense attorneys will have a chance to cross examine her.
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