Noted attorney reacts to Latham murder-for-hire verdict

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The murder-for-hire trial for Wendy Moore and Chris Latham ended late Wednesday night. Now legal experts are weighing in on the case and its outcome.

Former state Attorney General Charlie Condon thinks the case is fascinating from several angles, including the people involved and the strategies of prosecutors and defense attorneys.

But questions remain after the lengthy trial and what's next for both sides.

"You've got convictions for both of these defendants and I'm certain they're facing lengthy prison sentences at this point," said Condon.

He paid attention to the high profile trial of Latham and Moore.

On Wednesday night, jurors found Moore guilty on four counts, and Latham was guilty on one. Condon says while that might appear to be an unusual verdict co-defendants, it isn't.

"Apparently a couple of the jurors felt that the burden - this high burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt - was not met on some of the elements of one of the charges against one of the co-defendants," said Condon.

The next phase of the case is sentencing. Condon believes its possible Latham could be re-tried if prosecutors choose to do so.

"They may look at this and say, 'Well, he was convicted of this charge. And looking at the sentencing guidelines, we may not want to re-try him for these other counts because it may not be worth the effort,'" said Condon.

Now that the criminal trial is over, some have wondered if Moore and Latham should have testified.{} Condon thinks it's a tough call because doing so would give prosecutors a chance to give both a vigorous cross-examination.

"It's always the decision of the defendant whether or not to testify. I'm certain that Judge Gergel would have questioned these defendants carefully on the record as to the decisions to testify or not testify.{} And in this case, both elected not to testify," said Condon.

Wendy Moore faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, while Chris Latham could be sentenced to 10 years behind bars.{} A sentencing hearing will be set later.{}

So far, the government hasn't decided if it will retry Chris Latham on two charges on which the jury could not reach a verdict.

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