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18-year-old Vineland man charged in stabbing death of South Jersey corrections officer

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BRIDGETON — An 18-year-old Vineland man has been charged with aggravated manslaughter in the Monday stabbing death of a South Jersey corrections officer.

At 7:48 p.m., Vineland police responded to Thornhill Road for a report of an altercation and stabbing, Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said in a news release. Witnesses said there had been a confrontation between 18-year-old Zachary T. Latham and his wife and William T. Durham Sr., 51, also of Thornhill Road, and his wife.

Durham and his two sons, a 17-year-old who was not identified by authorities and William T. Durham Jr., 21, went to Latham’s home, where Zachary was armed with a knife and stun gun, Webb-McRae said.

A second altercation happened in Latham’s driveway and into the garage of the home, she said. Durham Sr. was stabbed several time and was pronounced dead at 9:19 p.m.

Durham worked as a senior correctional police officer at South Woods State Prison, the state Department of Corrections confirmed. He was hired in March 2001.

“Officer Durham was a beloved and valued member of the team,” according to the post on the DOC’s Facebook page. “Please join the department in extending condolences and prayers of support to all those whose lives he touched.”

Latham was taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Campus, for his injuries and was released, Webb-McRae said.

He has been charged with two counts of second-degree aggravated assault, one count of first-degree aggravated manslaughter, four counts of third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon.

Catherine T. Durham was charged with fourth-degree criminal trespass and simple assault, a disorderly persons offense.

Durham’s 17-year-old son and William T. Durham Jr. were both charged with third-degree aggravated assault and fourth-degree criminal trespass.

Latham was taken to the Cumberland County jail, and the charges against the others were issued by summonses.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information can call Detective Charles Macafee of the city Police Department at 856-691-4111, ext. 4317, or Detective Ryan Breslin of the Prosecutor’s Office at 856-207-2738.

Contact: 609-272-7241

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