Defense witness files motion to be removed from case
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - As prosecutors closed their caseagainst Chris Latham and Wendy Moore in the murder-for-hire trial, defenseattorneys focused on the reports of ATF agents and picked apart the story ofthe star witness.
Defense attorneys also learned that one of their plannedwitnesses has asked to be removed from the witness list.
David Hicks, the 18-year-old bellhop at the Ritz-CarltonHotel in Atlanta, on Thursday filed a motion to quash a subpoena to have himtestify for the defense. According to the filing, Hicks claims he has nothingto add to Mr. Latham's defense because he had only met Mr. Latham and NancyLatham's step-brother, John Hall Cannon, a few times.
He said being asked to travel 300 miles to testify is toomuch, 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'spresence at the hotel. Hicks said he did not know Mr. Latham.
Cannon told Hicks that he was Mr. Latham's brother-in-lawand was in town trying to find out if Mr. Latham was cheating on Mrs. Latham. Cannonalso said he had hired a private investigator to follow Mr. Latham, according tothe filing.
On a final trip, Hicks told Cannon that Latham was stayingat the hotel, information that Mr. Latham learned and confronted Hicks with,telling Hicks that Cannon had been convicted of murder in South Carolinaseveral years earlier.
Hicks said he promised Mr. Latham that he had not toldCannon anything about where he was staying, the filing states.
According to court records, a decision has not been made inallowing Hicks to be excused from testifying.
While the judge considers Hicks' motion, he also prepares toaddress Mr. Latham and Moore for the first time to tell them their rights whenit comes to testifying in the trial. No one has said yet whether either Mooreor Mr. Latham will testify.
Meanwhile inside the courtroom, defense attorneys focused onthe ATF reports and the testimony of Mrs. Latham, accused co-conspirator AaronWilkinson, and a State Law Enforcement Division handwriting expert.
Defense attorneys attacked ATF agent Callahan for thereports he and other agents filed after interviewing Wilkinson because, duringtestimony, Wilkinson revealed things not in the reports, including his andSamuel Yenawine's drug activity during their trip to and from Charleston, andinformation about swallowing a bag of heroin in Charleston when police stoppedhim.
Defense attorneys also attacked Wilkinson's account ofYenawine talking to a man on the phone who he thought was Mr. Latham. However,attorneys pointed out that the time Wilkinson testified the call happenedmatches no phone records for Yenawine, Wilkinson, Moore, or Mr. Latham.
During Mrs. Latham's testimony, attorneys learned that herhusband had sold the Jaguar for cash and that she was keeping bottles of pillsin her home; that information was left out of the reports filed by the ATFafter interviews with her.
And then focusing on the handwriting expert provided bySLED, the court learned Friday morning that the ATF knew early on thatWilkinson had confessed to writing Mrs. Latham's address on the envelope in thehit package - a writing sample that had been attributed to Mr. Latham.
That report was never updated to show the new informationabout Wilkinson's confession, Callahan told the court.
While being questioned by prosecutors, Callahan walked thecourt 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 PigglyWiggly store the day she purchased a wire transfer. Officials say sheeventually bought the wire transfers totaling $5,000 at a nearby Rite Aid storebecause the grocery store had quit offering the wire transfers.
And the court heard yet another call between Mr. Latham andMoore in which he tells her that even though she's at her lowest, it's still "meand you together," and that he planned to "make it official" after the case hadbeen resolved.
Moore told Mr. Latham that she "would love that."