A former Bank of America executive accused of conspiring with others to murder his wife just before they were set to enter divorce proceedings will remain behind bars until his trial.
During a hearing Monday that lasted almost two and a half hours, Judge Bristow Marchant said the severity of the charges prompted him to deny bond for 50-year-old Christopher Austin Latham. He will remain in the Charleston County Detention Center.
Latham is accused of conspiring with 37-year-old Wendy Annette Moore, 39-year-old Aaron Russell Wilkinson, 36-year-old Rachel Palmer, and the now-deceased Samuel Arthur Yenawine to murder his estranged wife, Nancy Latham.
Latham and her 19-year-old daughter said they were "terrified" as they pleaded with the judge to keep Chris Latham behind bars until trial.
"I really do wish I didn't have to stand here and ask you to keep my father in jail, but I am terrified, " Emily Latham said. "Please don't give him the opportunity to do any more harm to us."
Federal investigators say Latham conspired with his girlfriend, Moore, to contact Yenawine, her ex-husband, in Louisville, Kentucky, and plot to murder Nancy Latham just days before their divorce proceedings were set to take place in early April.
Judge Marchant said Moore is "the main actor" in the plot.
During Monday's hearing, an ATF agent testified that Latham played a part in putting together the "hit packet" for the would-be hit men. The evidence presented included maps and other documents supposedly printed on Latham's work computer. Prosecutors say a photo of Nancy Latham's house and car were taken from Chris Latham's iPhone.
Feds say Yenawine recruited his girlfriend, Palmer, and a man he served prison time with, Wilkinson, to help with the plot. Agents allege Yenawine and Wilkinson met with Moore, who provided them with the "hit packet."
Latham was arrested by ATF agents last week while he was vacationing at Lake Jocassee in the Upstate.
All suspects are charged with: conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire; use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
Moore is also charged with solicitation of murder for hire and Wilkinson is charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
Court documents state the conspiracy was hatched in March, but unraveled on Apr. 5 when Wilkinson and his wife were stopped by police. Officers found a .32-caliber revolver and a box of ammo inside the car.
When questioned, police said Wilkinson confessed to being part of an elaborate plot to murder Nancy Latham and make it look like an armed robbery, court documents state.
Moore, Yenawine, and Palmer were later taken into custody as well and Nancy Latham filed a restraining order and civil suit against her husband.
Yenawine was held in the Georgetown County Detention Center until he committed suicide by hanging in late June.
Moore and Wilkinson are being held in the Charleston County jail and Palmer is being held out of state. The trio is scheduled to be arraigned on Aug. 27.
Jury selection for the trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 11.