Oxford University employee in court over US murder

An Oxford University employee has appeared in a US court accused of murdering a 26-year-old man in Chicago.

Somerville College’s Andrew Warren and US professor Wyndham Lathem, 42, are accused of fatally stabbing Trenton Cornell-Duranleau in Mr Lathem’s flat.

The killing on 27 July led to a US-wide eight-day manhunt for the suspects.

In San Francisco’s Hall of Justice, Mr Warren, 56, declined to fight his extradition to Chicago for questioning and was remanded in custody.

Neither of the suspects has been formally charged.

‘Presumed innocent’

The Briton appeared in baggy, orange prison-issued sweatshirt and jogging bottoms. He was filmed and photographed by the press in court.

Listening to the judge’s questions assisted by a hearing aid, Mr Warren agreed he would not oppose extradition and said he would accept a public lawyer as he could not afford his own.

Judge Edward Torpoco said: “Based on the nature of the charge, the defendant is remanded and no bail is set.”

Filming was permitted by the judge as Mr Warren had already been subject to extensive publicity as the subject of a manhunt.

After the hearing, his lawyer, Ariel Boyce-Smith, said: “Mr Warren is agreeable to being transported to Chicago, he wants the process to be started.

“I just want to remind everyone that he is presumed innocent and his agreement to go there to start the process is where we are now.”

Mr Warren, who says online that he lives in Swindon, Wiltshire, has since been suspended from his job at Somerville College as senior treasury assistant.

Prof Lathem was a microbiology professor at Northwestern University in Illinois and specialised in the bacteria that caused the bubonic plague. He has since been sacked.

He appeared in court earlier this week and will be returned to Chicago for questioning.

Prof Lathem’s lawyer said he plans to plead not guilty and he described the academic as a “gentle soul”.

Earlier this month, Mr Warren handed himself in San Francisco, nearly 2,000 miles from Chicago, while Prof Lathem gave himself up in Oakland, also in California, on 4 August.

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