Two men from the academic world joined forces to live out their twisted murder fantasy, prosecutors said at a hearing for Wyndham Lathem and Andrew Warren in Chicago Sunday.
Toller said Lathem and Warren had talked in detail beforehand about how they would kill themselves. Lathem also anonymously called the front desk of his apartment building to say that someone should check his room as a crime had been committed there.
After Warren arrived in Chicago, the men "discussed who they would kill and when", authorities said, settling on Cornell-Duranleau, who was Lathem's boyfriend, to be their first victim. He said the investigation found that Warren and Lathem had met through the internet, and that Lathem had picked Warren up from O'Hare International Airport several days before the murder.
Toller said Lathem then yelled at Warren, who was standing in a nearby doorway, and asked him for help.
WGN-TV reported that neighbors said Lathem and Cornell-Duranleau were in a relationship. When the victim awoke, he began screaming and fought back.
Both men have been charged with first-degree murder in Cornell-Duranleau's slaying.
The man's last words were "Wyndham, what are you doing?" prosecutors said.
"The heinous facts speak for themselves", Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. said in court, reportedly shaking his head while Toller gave a chilling recap of their alleged actions.
When the victim's body was moved, he appeared to have been almost decapitated, prosecutors said, and he had sustained multiple wounds that would have been mortal in and of themselves.
He and 43-year-old Wyndham Lathem, a former Northwestern University professor, face charges of first-degree murder for the death last month of Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau, a MI native who had been working in Chicago.
They surrendered separately to authorities in California earlier this month.
Cornell-Duranleau was stabbed 70 times, and with such force that his head was almost decapitated. He was stabbed dozens of times.
The commander said: "It was not domestic in nature like a husband-wife, or boyfriend-boyfriend, or love triangle - that was not the motive. It was a little bit more dark and disturbing", Chicago police Detective Cmdr.
Lathem has been fired from Northwestern University. Warren, who works in the financial department at Oxford University in England, was suspended.
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