Diane Sydenham, the Albany woman accused of fatally stabbing 81-year-old Kensington resident James Durkin with a steak knife in his heart, entered a plea of not guilty in a brief court hearing Thursday aftertoon.
As Sydenham, 56, stood behind bars in a courtroom cell, the plea was entered by her attorney Robert Beles, who appeared with his daughter, Anne Beles, as co-counsel.
Sydenham remains jailed on $2 million bail. The next court date is set for Oct. 25.
Sydenham is accused of killing Durkin, a retired psychologist, in his in-law unit in a home on the 600 block of Coventry Road in Kensington. His body was found with the knife stuck in his chest on Aug. 13.
Sydenham on Thursday waived her right to a speedy trial. After the hearing, Robert Beles said he's still waiting for more information, particular lab reports.
Beles declined to comment further on the circumstances of the case. At Sydenham's arraignment hearing on Aug. 16, he told reporters that the accused had "an emotionally troubled background."
Acquaintances said she was unemployed at the time of the crime. Beles said she is unmarried and does not have children.
Thursday's hearing was held before Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Christopher Bowen at the Richmond branch of the court. Appearing for the prosecution was Deputy District Attorney Dominique Yancey.
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