Chicago (AFP) - A US professor who went on the run following the murder of a Chicago hairstylist will plead not guilty to the killing, his lawyer said Monday.
Wyndham Lathem, a professor at Northwestern University's Chicago campus and Andrew Warren, a university employee from England -- were implicated in the stabbing death of the 26-year-old man found dead in Lathem's apartment.
Police said the victim was stabbed repeatedly and with such force that the blade of the knife used in the crime broke.
The pair went on the run and a nationwide manhunt was launched to find them, before they turned themselves in on Friday in California.
Lathem was scheduled to appear before a judge Monday afternoon prior to his return to Chicago, and his lawyer Kenneth Wine confirmed to AFP that the 42-year-old professor would plead not guilty.
His lawyers have received "dozens of calls and letters of support," Wine said in a statement.
"They all describe him in the same way -- a kind, intelligent and gentle soul," he added.
"What he is accused of is totally contrary to the way he has lived his entire life."
Police said they found Trenton Cornell-Duranleau on July 27 dead of multiple stab wounds.
While on the run, Lathem sent a video message to friends and family apologizing for his role in the murder, police said.
They did not offer a motive for the slaying and have not released much information about how the three men were connected -- aside from revealing that the victim had been living with Lathem in his apartment.
Warren was expected in court Friday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper.