Judge will release plea agreement of ex-Northwestern professor's co-defendant in River North murder trial, Andrew Warren gets 45 years

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The transcript of former Oxford University employee Andrew Warren's plea agreement will be released later this week, a judge decided Tuesday.

Prosecutors announced Monday that Warren agreed to plead guilty to one count of first degree murder and testify against former Northwestern University professor Wyndham Lathem who is also charged in the killing, just one week shy of his trial.

The unsealed plea agreement could provide details of the gruesome murder of 26-year-old Trenton Cornell-Duranleau, who was stabbed more than 40 times in what prosecutors have said was a bizarre murder-suicide fantasy involving Warren and Lathem.

"It seems like a co-defendant shifting blame. So we don't support his credibility. We take great issue with it," said defense attorney Adam Sheppard.

Prosecutors allege that Warren and Lathem plotted to kill Lathem's boyfriend, Cornell, on video and then kill each other. But instead, after allegedly stabbing Cornell more than 40 times and nearly decapitating him, they fled the state and eventually surrendered in California eight days later.

Warren pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against Lathem. Lathem's attorneys say Warren was the real killer.

"He has an obligation to testify," Sheppard said. "Whether it's truthful, that will be up to a jury ot decide. We don't think it is."

Warren flew to Chicago from England just three days before the murder after allegedly hatching the bizarre plot in online exchanges with Lathem. After the killing, prosecutors said the two drove cross-country as fugitives, sending video messages to his family as well as Cornell's, expressing remorse for making what he called the biggest mistake of his life. Lathem is being held without bond.

"It's a very difficult and trying situation," Sheppard said. "He's never had anything like this happen to him before. He's an accomplished person. He's trying to remain hopeful."

The judge said one paragraph in the plea deal needs to be redacted, but he expects it to be released later this week. In exchange for his testimony, Warren agreed to a 45-year sentence.
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