The former Charleston bank executive convicted in connection with the murder-for-hire plot targeting his estranged wife wants a new trial or his conviction thrown out, according to recently filed court documents.
Christopher Latham, 51, was found guilty in February by a federal jury of aiding and abetting a murder-for-hire scheme targeting his former spouse, Nancy Cannon.
Latham's attorney, Steve Schmutz, filed a 23-page request Friday arguing for an acquittal of the conviction or a new trial.
When asked for comment, Schmutz said the motion, which is the request filed, speaks for itself.
Latham's conviction should be dismissed based on insufficient evidence, according to the request.
Schmutz contends Latham should receive a new trial because the court violated his Fifth Amendment rights, the request stated.
Latham was found guilty of interstate travel between Kentucky and South Carolina under the indictment.
The court, however, instructed the jury before deliberations that the charge could include the use of "the mail or any facility of interstate commerce," the court document stated.
"Because Latham was indicted only for murder for hire involving interstate travel" the instruction amended the indictment, a violation of the Fifth Amendment, according to Schmutz's request.
Schmutz also reiterated an argument he made during trial, which was to exclude the testimony of codefendant Aaron Russell Wilkinson, 40, of Louisville, Ky., who testified he had been pulled into the murder-for-hire scheme.
Schmutz argues phone conversations Wilkinson had from jail with his mother tainted his testimony, according to the court request.
During the trial, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel denied Schmutz request to strike Wilkinson's testimony.
Wilkinson had pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting murder-for-hire before testifying and was later sentenced to four years in prison.
Latham faces up to 10 years in federal prison on the charge for which he was convicted, though no sentencing date has been set.
The jury deadlocked on two other charges he faced, forcing a mistrial on those counts.
Earlier this month a judge approved the dismissal of the remaining counts of conspiracy and weapons charges.
Prosecutors had accused Latham and his girlfriend, 38-year-old Wendy Annette Moore, of plotting to get rid of Cannon.
Latham and Cannon were going through a contentious break-up at the time. They have since divorced.
Moore was found guilty at trial of four charges that painted her as the mastermind and schemer of the plot. She faces up to 30 years in prison.
Prosecutors had accused the pair of hiring Moore's ex-husband, Samuel Yenawine, 38, of Louisville, Ky., to kill Cannon, a Mount Pleasant real estate agent and state lottery official.
Yenawine, in turn, sought help from Wilkinson, who was a former prison buddy authorities said.
Wilkinson, however, revealed the plot in an impromptu confession to Charleston police during an April 2013 traffic stop.
Yenawine killed himself in a Georgetown County jail cell before he could be tried in the case.
Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.
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