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Jury to hear bizarre case of former Northwestern professor accused of sexual thrill-killing

Megan Crepeau, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

While they were on the run, the men made two charitable donations in Cornell-Duranleau’s name, prosecutors said: $5,610 to the Howard Brown Health Center, an LGBT health and social services provider, and $1,000 to a public library in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

At the library, Lathem called the front desk of his apartment building and left an anonymous tip: Someone should check the apartment because a crime had been committed in that room.

Prosecutors said Warren confessed to authorities in chilling detail, recounting that Cornell-Duranleau “had no idea what was coming.”

Warren also made an ominous revelation: The two had planned to kill at least one other victim. But Warren didn’t know if that person had ever shown up to Lathem’s apartment after the two men fled, prosecutors said.

Agreement to testify

Warren pleaded guilty in 2019. Prosecutors said they would agree to recommend a sentence of 45 years in prison in exchange for Warren’s full cooperation as a witness against Lathem.

 

In addition, prosecutors agreed that they would not object if Warren tries to serve his sentence in his native England. Inmates repatriated to the United Kingdom are automatically released on the equivalent of parole after serving half of what remains of their sentences, according to the British charity Prisoners Abroad. That means that Warren’s prison term could be shortened by 15 years or more and allow him to serve his time closer to family and friends.

Illinois law does not allow for good-behavior credit on first-degree murder sentences, so Warren would have to serve out his full sentence if he stays in the U.S.

Warren, having allegedly been part of every aspect of the attack, is expected to be a central witness against Lathem.

With Lathem expected to take the stand in his own defense, that could set up a credibility contest between him and his alleged onetime co-conspirator.

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