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SNEED: Prof accused of murder embraces teaching, spirituality in jail

Wyndham Lathem (left) and Andrew Warren are accused in a grisly River North murder.

It was a classic case of murder most foul.

So here’s the latest update.

Sneed is told Wyndham Lathem, the ex-Northwestern University professor who is one of two men pleading not guilty Thursday to the grisly River North murder of 26-year-old hairstylist Trenton Cornell-Duranleau, is back teaching.

• Translation: He is now tutoring prisoners in the basics of biology.

OPINION

Lathem, a well-published microbiologist who is charged with nearly decapitating the victim, “is using his free time outside his cell at Cook County Jail to instruct prisoners who want to learn the basics of biology,” said his attorney, Adam Sheppard.

“We’ve not seen or heard of this happening,” cautioned a Cook County sheriff’s spokesman. “It’s not part of a formal program at the jail.”

“Our client would like to be involved in the jail’s educational programs, but for now he personally volunteers to sit with prisoners in a common area and instruct them,” said Sheppard.

“He is a scientist and biology is a science — and friends have recently sent him some of his books.

“My client is also getting involved in the religious and spiritual programs at the facility where he is being held.”

Lathem, 43, who has been charged along with Andrew Warren, 56, an Englishman, with stabbing the victim almost 100 times inside Lathem’s apartment — is being treated for depression in the Cermak Hospital section of the jail complex.

Prosecutors claim Warren allegedly confessed to a murder plot hatched online and fed by a morbid “sexual fantasy” involving killing multiple people, then killing each other.

“As I said before, Lathem is a scientist who wants to serve in a capacity to help others inside the jail while the case is pending,” said Sheppard. “He is now using some of the books he relied on in his studies to help others.

“He [Lathem] has also instructed his friends to donate a lot of his science books to different charitable organizations.”

The next court date is Oct. 26.

Click. Click. Click.

Fans of beloved former county and federal Judge George N. Leighton were lined up Thursday at the Dirksen Federal Building to videotape greetings on the occasion of his 105th birthday!

Happy birthday, Judge Leighton!

I well remember covering your courtroom back in the late 1960s and learning what a class act was behind the bench.

The Kennedy women . . .

Dem gubernatorial hopeful Chris Kennedy wowed a female audience of supporters at a luncheon at the Fairmont Hotel on Thursday, when he stated:

“As governor of Illinois, I’d govern as a feminist!” Then he added: “So, too, must all Dems say: I am a feminist.”

Kennedy’s mother, Ethel, 89, the frail matriarch of the clan, who was born in St. Ambrose parish in Chicago, was also in attendance. Via video, she stated: “I’ve been campaigning since I was 10. Don’t count the math. I know a winner when I see one — and they usually have the same last name.”

There ya go.

Sneedlings . . .

Former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, victim of an assassination attempt when she was shot in the head at a public gathering, spotted lunching with former state Sen. Bill Marovitz to chat up a bill legalizing silencers pending before the Illinois Legislature — and asking for Gifford’s help in supporting the Gun Dealer Licensing legislation coming up for a vote in the Illinois House next month. . . . I spy: Hawks legend Jeremy Roenick and former Bears QB Jim McMahon spotted Tuesday night at the Chicago Sports Museum for a banquet. . . . Congrats to Adam Sheppard and wife, Carly, on the birth Tuesday of their son and first child, Cole Asher. . . . Today’s birthdays: Kevin Durant, 29; Halsey, 23; and Chrissy Metz, 37.