A preliminary hearing has been set for April 4 in the murder case against an Albany woman accused of fatally stabbing a retired 81-year-old Kensington psychologist at his home.
The suspect, Diane Sydenham, 57, has been 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 a steak knife stuck in his chest on Aug. 13, authorities said. She pleaded not guilty at a Sept. 20 hearing.
The preliminary hearing will be held April 4 at 8:30 a.m. at the Richmond courthouse of Contra Costa County Superior Court, according to Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Jill Henderson. The hearing date was set at a hearing in the Richmond courthouse on Thursday.
A preliminary hearing usually features a preview of the prosecution's case and is used to determine whether the defendant should be held over for trial.
Sydenham has been in custody on $2 million bail. At an earlier hearing, on Jan. 31, Henderson reported that Sydenham's attorneys, the father-daughter team of Robert and Anne Beles, were investigating "mental health issues" in the case.