Remaining charges against Latham dismissed in murder-for-hire case


Federal prosecutors won't be seeking a new trial for former Charleston banker Chris Latham on conspiracy and weapons charges in connection with a plot to kill his estranged wife.

Latham, 51, was found guilty in February of aiding and abetting a murder-for-hire scheme targeting his former spouse, Nancy Cannon. But the jury deadlocked on two other charges, forcing a mistrial on those counts.

Prosecutors didn't indicate at the time whether they would seek to re-try Latham on those charges.

Last week, however, they moved to dismiss the remaining counts of conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities in a commission of a murder-for-hire and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel promptly signed off on the request.

"We think the first case was well tried and we are pleased with the result," Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan Williams said.

"Given the possible sentence the defendant is facing, we did not feel it necessary to proceed to trial on the remaining counts."

Latham faces up to 10 years in federal prison on the charge for which he was convicted, though no sentencing date has been set.

Latham's attorney, Stephen Schmutz, said he fully expected the government to dismiss the additional charges given the outcome of the trial. "To me, it seemed like the logical thing to do," he said.

Prosecutors had accused Latham and his girlfriend, 38-year-old Wendy Annette Moore, of plotting to get rid of Cannon, with whom Latham was in the midst of a messy break-up. 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 a former prison buddy, 40-year-old Aaron Wilkinson, also of Louisville, authorities said.

Wilkinson, however, revealed the plot in an impromptu confession to Charleston police during an April 2013 traffic stop.

Wilkinson, who testified for the prosecution during Moore and Latham's trial, was sentenced last month to four years in prison.

Yenawine killed himself in a Georgetown County jail cell before he could be tried in the case.

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