Northwestern Professor Murder Charges Dropped Because of Promising Career in Athletics Department
In a controversial decision handed down by the Circuit Court of Cook County, Northwestern biology professor Wyndham Latham, charged with first-degree murder earlier this month, will receive no jail time. Though Latham was not a member of Northwestern’s athletics department, he occasionally coached the Ultimate Frisbee B Team and it was as a result of this promising athletics career that Latham received such a light sentencing.
“Everyone makes mistakes in their early forties,” said Chicago judge Clark Whiteman. “And it would be a tragedy to ruin a young man’s future because of one mistake he planned, premeditated, and executed.”
Court transcripts show that Latham’s attorney argued that there was no way the former professor could have known that the 70+ stab wounds inflicted upon the victim could have killed him, nor that the victim was the kind of person who gets hurt by knife attacks. Additionally adding that “boys will be boys” before winking at the judge.
The typical minimum sentencing for first-degree murder is 10 years imprisonment. Latham instead received 20 hours of community service and a year long probation during which he is required to spend up to an hour a day thinking about what he’s done.
When asked about the controversial sentencing, Judge Whiteman went on record saying “I don’t know what it was, but I just had a good feeling about him. Seemed like a great guy. We grabbed a beer after the case was over and it made me pretty confident about my decision.”
Latham’s probation requirements allow him to retain his job at Northwestern. As a result, he will be returning to teach BIO-324, Intro to Forensic Biology, this fall quarter. This course will focus primarily on blood splatters and DNA sampling. Students can enroll for the course via CAESAR. There are still some open spots available in the class.