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An Albany woman pleaded not guilty Thursday to murdering her elderly companion in his Kensington home last month, a prosecutor said. Diane Sydenham, 56, entered the plea in a Richmond courtroom Thursday to charges that she fatally stabbed retired 81-year-old psychology professor James Durkin.
The plea came weeks after a hearing in which Sydenham’s bail was raised to $2 million. According to police, officers responded to Durkin’s home for a welfare check on Aug. 13 and found the elderly man’s body with a knife sticking out of his chest. Police arrested Sydenham the next day at her home in Albany in connection with the killing. She is expected to return to court in Richmond on Oct. 25 to set a future hearing date.
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