Murder-for-hire suspect to be extradited to South Carolina

Samuel Yenawine (Source: Oldham County Detention Center)
Samuel Yenawine (Source: Oldham County Detention Center)

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY (WCSC) - One of the Kentucky-based suspects federal investigators say was involved in a plot to murder a Charleston-area woman is set to be transported to South Carolina to face charges.

Samuel Arthur Yenawine, 38, appeared before federal court on Tuesday in Louisville and is accused of plotting with his ex-wife, 37-year-old Wendy Annette Moore, to kill her lover's estranged wife, Nancy Latham. The murder was supposed to be carried out on Apr. 7, one day before the estranged couple was set to appear in family court for divorce proceedings.

Investigators say the plot was foiled after the man hired to carry out the hit, 39-year-old Aaron Russell Wilkinson, confessed to police after he was arrested for driving with a suspended license on Apr. 5.  Police found a gun and ammunition in the rental car Wilkinson was driving.  He told police that gun was supposed to be used to kill the target.

On Monday, Nancy Latham filed a lawsuit against her estranged husband and the three suspects accused of conspiring to kill her.

Attorney Matt Yelverton, appearing on behalf of Nancy Latham, held a news conference Monday afternoon to announce the filing of the lawsuit against Chris Latham, Moore, Wilkinson and Yenawine. The latter three are all facing federal charges of conspiracy to commit murder. Yenawine and Wilkinson are also facing federal weapons charges.

According to the civil complaint, Nancy's husband, Chris Latham, and his girlfriend, Wendy Moore, contacted Yenawine to murder his estranged wife "along with anyone else in her company at the time of the murder attempt."

Moore was arrested at her Sullivan's Island home last week, and Yenawine was arrested in Kentucky.

It is not the first time Yenawine has been accused of murder. In 2001, he was charged with stabbing and killing Brian Tinnell and setting his apartment on fire in Louisville.

While the murder charge was thrown out, he was found guilty of arson and sentenced to life in prison in 2003. However, he later filed an appeal citing an error during trial, and he was acquitted, according to Supreme Court documents.

Moore and Wilkinson remain behind bars at the Charleston County Detention Center. Yenawine is being held in the Oldham County Detention Center in Kentucky.

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