RICHMOND -- A 57-year-old Albany woman has been ordered to stand trial on murder charges in the stabbing of an 81-year-old man at his Kensington home last year.

Preliminary hearing Judge Patricia Scanlon ruled Wednesday that there is enough evidence to try Diane Sydenham in the slaying of retired psychologist James Durkin.

Prosecutor Jill Henderson said the evidence shows that Sydenham stabbed Durkin 28 times in the chest with a kitchen knife during an altercation on Aug. 9 or Aug. 10, 2012. One of Durkin's neighbors on Coventry Road discovered his body Aug. 13; the knife was still plunged in his chest.

Police were directed to Sydenham by neighbors who had heard them fighting.

A detective testified at a preliminary hearing that Sydenham cut her hand during the attack and left blood at the scene. Durkin's blood also was found at Sydenham's home, Henderson said.

A motive for the killing has not been released. Henderson said the exact nature of the relationship between the victim and defendant is unclear, but they were more than acquaintances.

Sydenham is next scheduled to appear in court Sept. 20 for arraignment on Wednesday's holding order. She remains jailed in lieu of $2 million bail.

Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.



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