Divorce attorney alleges pair of affairs in Latham trial - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Divorce attorney alleges pair of affairs in murder-for-hire trial

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – Amid a building evacuation for a bomb threat, defense attorneys tried to disprove testimony jurors had heard over the last two weeks, including issues with computer security and attacks at both the prosecution's star witness and the target of the alleged murder plot.

Court began again Monday morning with the testimony of a computer forensics expert who testified that Bank of America's security controls are not as secure as they led jurors to believe in earlier testimony.

The expert said that a lack of multiple tiers of authentication makes it impossible to see who has access to the system, only that certain credentials are being used.

He also went on to say that of all of the devices collected and added into evidence, none had been wiped clean of information. Some of the devices had information deleted, but it was recoverable. If the computers or phones had been truly wiped of all data, nothing would be found, he said.

However, the expert did concede that information in the print logs that the jury has seen over the last two weeks does match up to information found on documents in the hit package – that link alleged co-conspirator Wendy Moore's computer, printer, and credentials to information in the hit package.

The jury also heard from Kentucky attorney, Trevor Smith, who said despite testimony, Beth Wilkinson never consulted with him in April before she and her current husband, Aaron Wilkinson, were arrested in downtown Charleston trying to buy heroin.

Smith, who is also Beth Wilkinson's ex-husband, said he had also never offered legal advice to the couple. Aaron Wilkinson testified that his wife called Smith before their arrest when they were on their way back to Charleston, asking for advice on how to get out from under Samuel Yenawine's threats.

According to Aaron Wilkinson, Smith told Beth Wilkinson to call the FBI. She never did, though.

Aaron Wilkinson has pinned the entire plot to kill Nancy Latham on Yenawine, who hanged himself in a Georgetown jail cell.

Smith did say that the Wilkinsons forwarded a text message from Yenawine to him that threatened to "fu** you up" if Aaron Wilkinson did not follow through with the plan.

Smith also said details of Aaron Wilkinson's drug habit and criminal past were kept from him, but he did think Beth Wilkinson's call for help after they were arrested was drug-related.

After Smith finished his testimony, attorneys for Chris Latham called divorce attorney Robert Rosen to the stand to discuss the details of the often-heated proceedings between the Lathams.

Rosen said when Mr. Latham first sought his counsel as a client, he was paying out $5,500 per month in alimony and child support to his ex-wife and he wanted to cut back the payments because, according to Mr. Latham, his ex-wife had been cheating with another man.

According to Rosen, during his investigation they found solid evidence linking Mrs. Latham to a lesbian affair in 2007 – that Mr. Latham forgave – and a 2011 affair with a man with whom she worked briefly.

As was discussed in earlier testimony, alimony and child support fueled the feud between the Lathams.

Rosen said that even if Mrs. Latham admitted to having an affair, she still would have picked up half of the couple's joint property assets valued at $4 million.

But Rosen and Mr. Latham were working to shut off the alimony by proving she was cheating. According to Rosen, because of Mr. Latham's pay structure, he was concerned that his base salary would not be able to cover the alimony and child support.

That would mean more courtroom drama for the splitting couple.

Rosen told the court that even though records show Mr. Latham made $650,000 at the time he was dropped from the Bank of America payroll, a lot of that money came from quarterly and annual bonuses.

Rosen also answered a pair of questions left open-ended from earlier testimony about text message Mr. Latham was sending during the trespass hearing on Sullivan's Island and the gold Toyota sedan he was seen driving.

Mrs. Latham testified that she watched her ex-husband text someone and eavesdrop on her and her attorney all through the trespass hearing on Sullivan's Island; she assumed it was Moore and Yenawine because of information she later saw in the hit package.

However, Rosen said he was talking to Mr. Latham during that hearing.

Late last week, one of Mr. Latham's former coworkers said Mr. Latham asked him to meet him at Hay Tire in West Ashley where Mr. Latham had dropped off a gold Toyota Corolla. The coworker also took Mr. Latham back to the repair shop to pick up the car.

Rosen on Monday said that car belonged to Mr. Latham's mother; he was driving it because he thought someone had been following him when he drove his regular car, a Lexus.

The court also heard from Andrea Moore, the realtor who helped the Lathams sell $4 million in assets to split in the divorce. She told the jury that she only dealt with Mr. Moore, but any time she called or texted him, within minutes, Mrs. Moore would call her with questions.

She called it "uncanny."

Andrea Moore said she always felt like someone was listening in to their phone calls or reading their text messages because of the timing of Mrs. Latham's calls. Moore also said there were things asked about the pending deal that were impossible for Mrs. Latham to know.

Mr. Latham's attorneys also brought in a handwriting expert to discount the State Law Enforcement Division's expert who, on a third and final report, declared it inconclusive whether Mr. Latham's writing was present in the hit package.

Retired FBI agent John Paulsick said after studying writing samples from Mr. Latham's daily correspondence and items found in the hit package, he was able to exclude Mr. Latham from the hit package.

He also said the initial SLED reports were troubling that implicated Mr. Latham and the third report that came up with inconclusive results. However, he never saw Aaron Wilkinson's handwriting.

A SLED expert testified last week that writing samples of Mr. Wilkinson and Mr. Latham had enough similarities and dissimilarities that definitive results could not be reached.

The court also heard from a fingerprint expert from London hired by Mr. Latham's attorneys who said there were several reasons why Moore's fingerprints would not be on the hit package if she had handled it: she washes her hands often; her hands do not secrete; she's a brick-layer; or she did something to bleach the paper. He called that a difficult process.

The fingerprint expert said fingerprints cannot be rubbed off paper; it has to be bleached or burned.

The expert did not comment on the use of gloves and whether that would prevent hand oils from getting onto the paper. He did say Moore was tested Monday morning. That test revealed that her hands do secrete natural oils.

The trial resumes Tuesday morning.

It is unclear how many witnesses are left for the defense. Moore has already made it known to the court that she will not testify.

Mr. Latham has not rejected his opportunity to testify, but he is not expected to.

  • Ava Wilhite

    Email: awilhite@abcnews4.com Reporter Profile

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