A Contra Costa County Superior Court judge granted a delay Thursday to attorneys representing Diane Syndenham of Albany, who is charged with fatally stabbing a retired Kensington psychologist with a steak knife to the heart.
After Sydenham, 57, was brought into the Richmond courtroom with her hands shackled to a chain around her waist, Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Jill Henderson told Judge Terri Mockler that lawyers for the accused seek a delay to investigate "mental health-type issues."
Mockler granted the delay and set the next hearing for Feb. 21 at 1:30 p.m.
Sydenham, who is being held on $2 million bail, is charged with murdering her acquaintance, James Durkin, in his in-law unit in a home in the 600 block of Coventry Road in Kensington. His body was found with the knife stuck in his chest on Aug. 13. She pleaded not guilty at a Sept. 20 hearing.
Sydenham is represented by the father-daughter lawyer team of Robert and Anne Beles, who stood next to Sydenham during the hearing.
Robert Beles told the court that he anticipates being ready to hold the preliminary hearing in March.