Defense witness files motion to be removed from case - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Defense witness files motion to be removed from case

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – As prosecutors closed their case against Chris Latham and Wendy Moore in the murder-for-hire trial, defense attorneys focused on the reports of ATF agents and picked apart the story of the star witness.

Defense attorneys also learned that one of their planned witnesses has asked to be removed from the witness list.

David Hicks, the 18-year-old bellhop at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Atlanta, on Thursday filed a motion to quash a subpoena to have him testify for the defense. According to the filing, Hicks claims he has nothing to add to Mr. Latham's defense because he had only met Mr. Latham and Nancy Latham's step-brother, John Hall Cannon, a few times.

He said being asked to travel 300 miles to testify is too much, as well.

Hicks also outlined his interactions with Cannon and Latham. He said he met Cannon on two occasions and was asked about Mr. Latham's presence at the hotel. Hicks said he did not know Mr. Latham.

Cannon told Hicks that he was Mr. Latham's brother-in-law and was in town trying to find out if Mr. Latham was cheating on Mrs. Latham. Cannon also said he had hired a private investigator to follow Mr. Latham, according to the filing.

On a final trip, Hicks told Cannon that Latham was staying at the hotel, information that Mr. Latham learned and confronted Hicks with, telling Hicks that Cannon had been convicted of murder in South Carolina several years earlier.

Hicks said he promised Mr. Latham that he had not told Cannon anything about where he was staying, the filing states.

According to court records, a decision has not been made in allowing Hicks to be excused from testifying.

While the judge considers Hicks' motion, he also prepares to address Mr. Latham and Moore for the first time to tell them their rights when it comes to testifying in the trial. No one has said yet whether either Moore or Mr. Latham will testify.

Meanwhile inside the courtroom, defense attorneys focused on the ATF reports and the testimony of Mrs. Latham, accused co-conspirator Aaron Wilkinson, and a State Law Enforcement Division handwriting expert.

Defense attorneys attacked ATF agent Callahan for the reports he and other agents filed after interviewing Wilkinson because, during testimony, Wilkinson revealed things not in the reports, including his and Samuel Yenawine's drug activity during their trip to and from Charleston, and information about swallowing a bag of heroin in Charleston when police stopped him.

Defense attorneys also attacked Wilkinson's account of Yenawine talking to a man on the phone who he thought was Mr. Latham. However, attorneys pointed out that the time Wilkinson testified the call happened matches no phone records for Yenawine, Wilkinson, Moore, or Mr. Latham.

During Mrs. Latham's testimony, attorneys learned that her husband had sold the Jaguar for cash and that she was keeping bottles of pills in her home; that information was left out of the reports filed by the ATF after interviews with her.

And then focusing on the handwriting expert provided by SLED, the court learned Friday morning that the ATF knew early on that Wilkinson had confessed to writing Mrs. Latham's address on the envelope in the hit package – a writing sample that had been attributed to Mr. Latham.

That report was never updated to show the new information about Wilkinson's confession, Callahan told the court.

While being questioned by prosecutors, Callahan walked the court through every day of the trial as investigators had pieced it together, up to Mr. Latham's arrest.

The court also saw surveillance video of Moore at a Piggly Wiggly store the day she purchased a wire transfer. Officials say she eventually bought the wire transfers totaling $5,000 at a nearby Rite Aid store because the grocery store had quit offering the wire transfers.

And the court heard yet another call between Mr. Latham and Moore in which he tells her that even though she's at her lowest, it's still "me and you together," and that he planned to "make it official" after the case had been resolved.

Moore told Mr. Latham that she "would love that."

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