Bank Exec Denies Alleged Murder-for-Hire Against Wife

Chris Latham, 50, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges.

August 12, 2013, 2:21 AM

Aug. 12, 2013— -- A former Bank of America executive will appear in a Charleston, S.C., court later this morning after he was arrested and charged in an alleged murder-for-hire plot against his estranged wife, who described the allegations as "heartbreaking."

Chris Latham, 50, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges in federal court Wednesday, one day after he was arrested while on vacation in Salem, S.C. Nancy Latham says she's relieved her husband is in jail, but the entire ordeal has been draining on the family.

"It's not by any means celebratory. It's not celebratory for my children," Nancy Latham said after the hearing. "It has to be heartbreaking for them, and if it's heartbreaking for them it's heartbreaking for me."

Chris Latham's attorney told ABC News overnight he could not comment.

Latham, once a banker commanding a salary of nearly $700,000, has been under scrutiny since four suspects, including his live-in girlfriend, Wendy Moore, were arrested and charged in the alleged plot to kill his wife in April.

The scrutiny increased after Nancy Latham said in a July affidavit that she believed her estranged husband was involved in the alleged plot to kill her, according to ABC News affiliate WCIV-TV in Charleston.

Chris Latham, who's being held pending today's bond hearing, has previously denied any involvement in the alleged plot.

Nancy Latham and her daughters kept a low profile after police alerted them about the alleged plot.

"We essentially were in hiding for close to two months and even trying to get our lives back is incredibly hard," she said.

Prosecutors say Chris Latham gave his accomplices a $5,000 down payment and package that included photos of his wife and her schedule.

"We've been married for 24 years," Nancy Latham said. "How do you reconcile the idea that this person hired someone to kill you?"

Already charged in the alleged plot are Samuel Yenawine, 38, Moore, 37, Rachel Palmer, 36, and Russell Wilkinson, 39.

Yenawine committed suicide while being held in the Georgetown County Jail in June. Moore and Palmer pleaded not guilty in May, according to WCIV.

Moore is incarcerated in Charleston County. Palmer is out of jail but limited to her mother's home in Kentucky. Wilkinson has pleaded not guilty to four charges, including two counts involving conspiracy to commit murder for hire, WCIV reported. He remains incarcerated.

The alleged conspiracy was hatched in March, but unraveled April 5 when Wilkinson was pulled over by Charleston police, according to court documents.

Officers allegedly found a gun and box of ammunition on Wilkinson, who told the authorities about the alleged plot.

Latham filed for a protective order against his wife earlier this year, saying she wanted to harm him.

Nancy Latham denies her husband's accusations and says she's confident prosecutors have a strong case against him.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events