The world-renowned infectious disease expert accused in a murder that was part of a twisted sexual fantasy wants out of jail on bail to help research coronavirus, according to a report.
Former Northwestern University professor Wyndham Lathem, 45, asked to be freed last week from Chicago’s Cook County Jail, where he’s been since his arrest in the fatal stabbing of his boyfriend in July 2017, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The microbiologist, who is known for his work on the bubonic plague, argued that his research could help save lives in the pandemic, according to the report.
“With his background and experience, Dr. Lathem is well-suited to advise and participate in studies that are aimed at understanding SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote Dr. William Goldman, a professor from the University of North Carolina, as part of the accused murderer’s appeal.
“It would make sense to take advantage of as many experts as possible during this worldwide crisis that is rapidly expanding in scope.”
But during an emergency court hearing held via teleconference, Judge Charles Burns rejected Lathem’s motion for bail Friday, according to court records.
Lathem’s attorney, Adam Sheppard, said they’re disappointed with the ruling since his client suffers from health conditions that could put him at higher risk if he comes down with the virus, the newspaper reported.
“We are deeply concerned about his health,” Sheppard said Monday. “He had been hopeful that he might get out [on bond], but he was not overly optimistic.”
Lathem is accused of hatching a plot with Oxford University employee Andrew Warren to kill his 26-year-old boyfriend Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau, who was found nearly decapitated and stabbed 70 times at the professor’s apartment.
Warren pleaded guilty last year in a deal in which he agreed to testify against Lathem, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
New York Post: Former NU prof wants out of Cook County Jail to help with coronavirus research
Featured and Top Image Courtesy Of Cook’s County Sheriff’s Office