Chris Latham denied bond in murder plot

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Chris Latham was denied bond Monday afternoon and will remain behind bars for his alleged involvement in a plot to kill the mother of his children. The hearing put everything into perspective. For the first time, a federal official spoke about the evidence that implicated Chris Latham. And Nancy Latham, as well as the couple's 19-year-old daughter, Emily, spoke to the judge."Judge, I wish I didn't have to ask you to keep my father in jail, but I am terrified," Emily Latham said. The evidence took four months to collect, but now federal agents made public why they believe Chris Latham played a role in a plan to murder his own wife. A key element to the investigation is the "hit package" made by Chris Latham's supposed mistress, Wendy Moore."We all want to know where this came from. I think we got a little more information today and we look forward to this process continuing both in the civil courts and the criminal courts so we can get to the bottom of how a house wife and a community activist, a mother can be the subject of a callus plan to end her life," said Nancy Latham's attorney, Matt Yelverton.In it, federal agents say was a picture of Nancy Latham and the home where she lived, Google maps and a Word document outlining the route Nancy leaves home and where she grocery shops. U.S. Attorneys pointed out that the same pictures in the hit package were found in Chris Latham's iPhone. And the Google maps had been printed from his work computer under his log-in.{}"I think she's devastated. I think she's heartbroken. I think she's still absorbing it. I think she's relying on the people around her to guide her through this," said Yelverton.Another strike for the prosecution came in the stroke of a pen. State Law Enforcement Division investigators say it's a strong probability the handwriting in the hit package belonged to Chris Latham and his mistress. Nancy Latham spoke in court after her daughter. She called herself gullible, saying she believed the estranged couple could be civil. Nancy Latham also said she and her daughters are living in fear and begged the judge for "the tiniest bit of hope."Chris Latham tried to speak in court to defend himself, but the judge advised him against it. Instead, he spoke through his attorney who said that Chris Latham would never hurt his family, adding that he was been cooperating with authorities since the murder-for-hire plot came to light.In court, Chris Latham's attorney Steven Schmutz called the evidence circumstantial. ATF agents said they did not have records of Chris Latham ever sending a threatening text or making a threatening phone call to his estranged wife. And Latham's attorney said investigators did not find fingerprints on the so-called hit package nor was there surveillance that linked him to the plot. Rather he said, the couple's ugly divorce case bled into the criminal courts. "Obviously, it's been a sensational divorce case going on for a couple of years now. As I said in there some of it bleeds into this case," Schmutz said. In court, the woman who introduced Chris and Nancy Latham in 1984 spoke, describing Chris Latham as a rule follower. She said the accusations against him surprised her. Chris Latham's 87-year-old mother also spoke on his defense, telling the court that she was sorry that the family they had built together no longer existed.

Chris Latham's alleged co-conspirators will return to court for an arraignment hearing on Aug. 27.

"There will be some motions. There will be some talks with prosecutors and judges in court, and we'll have a trial. I don't know exactly when. I asked the prosecutor, and he didn't think it'll be until after this year," said Schmutz.